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Lighting Photo Workshop by Chris Bucher

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Chapter 3. WORKING WITH OUTDOOR NATURAL LIGHT

WORKING WITH OUTDOOR NATURAL LIGHT
  • Learning to Use the Meter

  • Sunrise and Sunset

  • Making Great Images with Overcast Lighting

Dealing with outdoor light might seem easy — and certainly plenty of rules of thumb are passed around regarding outdoor photography.

Photographers might refer to the Sunny 16 Rule (see Table 3-1) or the saying "f/8 and be there." However, it is more important that you know how and why the light works in your photographs than what exposure to use.

The obvious problem with rules of thumb is that they only get you started. What about light underneath clouds or shade? What about times when the sun is just rising or setting? That is what this chapter is all about.

Tip

The Sunny 16 Rule is a middle of the day exposure of f/16 at 1/ISO. This means that if you are using ISO 100, your exposure should be f/16 at 1/125 second. If you were to use ISO 400, the exposure is f/16 at 1/500 second. In most cases, the shutter speed won't exactly match the ISO but can be set as close as possible; just remember "shutter speed = ISO." With digital cameras and the ability to immediately check the photo on the LCD, this rule is mostly obsolete but still good to know.

LEARNING TO USE THE METER

A light meter is used to measure the amount of light that is available to make the exposure. All digital cameras measure the light that is reflected back toward the camera and are, thus, appropriately ...

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