Yesterday I asked if anyone had any questions they’d like to ask me, and I’m operating on a first come, first served basis now. 😉

I have this crazy idea in my head that it would be really cool if my 1,000th post fell on my 25th anniversary, and I’m pretty much in line to do it. Please ask more questions so I have blog fodder for the next 10 days!

Okay, on to the question:

Laurie asked, “Well, what mode do you tend to shoot in?” (thank you, Laurie, for posing my prompted question!)

Most of the time I shoot Aperture Priority (A on Nikon, AV on Canon). If I’m shooting sports or motion, I’ll usually switch to Shutter Priority. When I’m really having a tough time getting my photo exposed properly, however, I tend to go manual.

It’s ironic that manual used to be the most stressful setting, and now it’s my go-to if I’m having problems.

When I shoot in manual, the thing I’m looking at is the exposure metering display. I can see it on the screen on top of the camera and also through the viewfinder. When shooting in settings other than manual, I never look at that meter; when shooting in manual, however, it’s the first thing I check.

Pressing the shutter release button halfway gives me a reading at my current settings. I want the meter to line up to “0,” like in the “optimal exposure” column in the above image from my manual (download the PDF file of your manual and keep it on your computer, phone, etc. It can be a lifesaver). Adjusting the aperture or shutter speed moves the line.

If you’re frustrated with images that expose for the background and leave your subject too dark, slowing your shutter speed will help. Shooting in manual and watching that meter is how I handle those situations.

Shutter Speed: 1/2500th of a second
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO: 400

Shutter Speed: 1/500th of a second
Aperture: f/3.2
ISO: 400

See what I mean?

Thanks, Laurie, for your question!

(Y’all feel free to add more to my questions post!)

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