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Mastering Exposure and the Zone System for Digital Photographers by Lee Varis

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A. Exposure Estimations

Occasionally even the most reliable equipment malfunctions—this can also happen with even the best digital cameras, and it seems to be a particularly prominent correlate of Murphy’s Law that this should apply to the light metering component of the system. Therefore, it is a good idea to familiarize oneself with the very old-school system of exposure estimation. This system of guesstimates is based on empirical data collected throughout the history of photography and can be a good “heads up” to determine if your light meter is acting “wonky”!

The most common exposure estimate is the sunny 16 rule whereby a correct exposure can be had on a sunny day, in middle geographic latitudes (like North America), by setting the camera ...

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