Welcome back to the 365 Project with Picaboo! As you may have noticed, Facebook has a bug that frequently hides our Event Page. Because of this, we’d like for you to post your pictures on our Facebook wall. This way, we can all continue to see and comment on your amazing photographs. Also, we’re interested to know how you’re creating your Picaboo 365 Project Book. What layouts are you using? Mind sharing with us? We’d love to include suggestions for a future blog post. If you started your book, share a link with us at 365@picaboo.com. And don’t forget, if you missed a week, that’s no big deal. You can join anytime. To see all of our photography tutorials, take a look at this post.

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Week 9 Challenge: Understanding Exposure

Week 9 Theme: Find the light!

The past few weeks, we’ve had fun getting creative with angles, taking self-portraits, and watching the sun rise and set. This week, we are going to get a little technical. Remember when we went through your camera modes? Well, they are coming back.

This week we are going to talk about proper exposure. Understanding how to achieve proper exposure is the fundamental key to photography. No one likes a too dark or too bright picture. That is exposure! Also, if you underexpose or overexpose a picture too much, no amount of post-processing can fix that.

Exposure is the “is the total amount of light allowed to fall on the photographic medium during the process of taking a photograph” (Wikipedia).  A long exposure will give you a brighter or blown out picture. On the flip side, a short exposure will produce a dark photograph.

Due to the many levels of brightness that can occur around you, you need to be able to control exactly how much light you are letting into the camera. You can do this by adjusting any one of your three main settings: aperture, shutter speed, or ISO.

Stephanie Glover Photography | Understanding Exposure

When adjusting your aperture, you are widening the hole in which the light is allowed to pass through. When setting your shutter speed, you are telling the camera how long to keep the shutter open. Finally, when setting your ISO, you are setting the sensitivity of the sensor to light.

Have I lost you yet? Trust me, it will start clicking very soon! (No pun intended.)

You know when you look into your viewfinder and you see that little bar on the bottom? That’s your light meter. Your light meter is determined based on the settings that you just put in place.

Go ahead and take a test picture. How does it look?

Too dark? Than you want to move your light meter up a stop or two {in this case, a stop is one movement along the light meter bar}. Too bright? Back that light meter down. Ideally, you want your light meter to sit right at 0. But sometimes, you will need to adjust accordingly. I tend to shoot a stop or two higher but that’s a personal preference of mine.

Since I am visual learner, and I am sure most of you are as well, here is an example picture. To make things simple, here are my settings: f/ 2.8 {that’s the aperture}, 200 {ISO}, 1/400 {shutter speed}.

Stephanie Glover Photography | Understanding Exposure

Let’s take a look at the example pictures. The base exposure picture was taken with the light meter sitting right at 0. All the settings were the same above. It’s pretty well exposed, perhaps a tad dark for my liking. As I move my light meter up a few stops, you can see the image getting lighter. In the +4 ev image, the tomatoes are starting to be “blown out”. They are too bright and you are losing details. On the flipside, as I move down on the light meter, the image is getting darker. I actually don’t mind the  -4 ev because I can lighten it to my liking in post-processing.

Understanding exposure will take awhile to master. That’s the great thing about photography! You are always constantly learning and growing!

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Did you miss one of our photography tutorials? Catch up quickly with our growing Photography Tutorial Library!

Want to see some amazing pictures shot by our fans? Take a look at these blog posts: Finding the light in 35 steps, 43 night shots and 37 pictures taken from creative angles.

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Are you enjoying my 365 Tutorials? Are you in the Philadelphia Metro Area? On March 24th, I will be holding a dSLR Basics Workshop where you will learn hands-on how to use your camera and get out of Auto mode! Grab your ticket today HERE.

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