Photography exposure tips?

Question by Pied Piper: Photography exposure tips?
ive been into photography for a couple of months now. i have an slr camera. (pentax ME super)

at the moment i use manual focus, but automatic exposure. is this wrong?
if i have time, or im doing a little project at home, or doing landscape i’ll manually pick exposure after a few test runs.

the reason i use automatic is because i like to do portraits without making my friends pose. in the moment, so to speak

so do you have any tips? because i feel im not learning.
i heard the tip of the nose was the best place to get your exposure , as it brings out a good tone for the overal face? is this true?

also, as a proffesional, do you use manual exposure when you are outside of your studio taking pictures of moving subject (and you don’t have time to keep searching for the best exposure)?

any advice would be great. thanks

those are a couple of my pictures if anyones interested 😉

Best answer:

Answer by fhotoace
Shooting using the aperture or shutter speed mode will usually give you great exposures. Using the meter manually gives you the option of slightly over or under exposing your shots to get special effects, but generally you can shoot using the aperture priority mode and get perfectly fine exposures.

“Basic Studio Lighting” by Tony l Corbell in your local library for more lighting techniques.

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3 Responses to Photography exposure tips?

  1. Αντώνης says:

    i dont search. In maunal exposure mode, i point the camera at my palm in the light i want to expose for and set the exposure to one stop over.

    you could use a grey card or light meter

    auto isnt a bad thing it just removes all or most creative control of things like focal points, depth and movement et cetera, sometimes in unique lighting it messes up the exposure also.


  2. Princess says:

    I often use shutter speed priority with documentary/street photography. I only shoot in RAW so I can make quick adjustments to a lot of photos at the same time in Photoshop. In situations where I have time to meter, like in the studio, I will only use manual.

  3. namedeletedbyrequest says:

    Automatic exposure has uses, so it really isn’t wrong. It can ruin a shot that you would have exposed correctly using manual settings. Your camera is very easy to use in manual. You already have your hand in place to adjust aperture while focusing and shutter speed is almost automatic with the up/down buttons. With a little practice your friends/subjects won’t notice the difference.
    As someone mentioned, shooting under good lighting conditions you can take an 18% gray reading off your skin to save time and make quick adjustments from there.
    Once you are used to manual you will find, under good lighting conditions, aperture priority mode will save time and still give you most of the creative control you need.
    Forget the tip of the nose tip! The best tip I can give you is read Ansel Adams ‘The Negative’ for exposure control. And, ‘The Camera’ and ‘The Print’ too.
    I use manual most of the time with spot metering followed by aperture priority. I have a habit of setting my 35mm format cameras to program/auto focus when I put them away. If I need to grab a camera I can start shooting while I think about exposure. In some situations I may resort to leaving the camera in program mode and use focus and exposure lock to get the results I want.

    PS, I like your work. You must have some art background?

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