How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot


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  • This is wrong. That is what the semi-automatic modes do, so why do it manually? Learn the zone system for various skin tones and objects in the environment to get proper exposures. Most proper exposures are never 18% grey. Exposure compensation on semi-automatic modes and manual modes are in place for a reason.

  • Pye is great, love all his tutorials, but in this one, although not his fault, what the model is wearing makes her body look funny in the pics, there is no curve to her body, looks square, lanky and blocky at 5:46, but still great tips and information as usual from Pye!.

  • A spot meter will only give you a 'prefect' exposure if you take a reading off of an 18% gray card. Anything you meter lighter than middle gray will give you an underexposed image, and anything you meter darker than middle gray will give you an over exposed image. An incident meter is a better choice most of the time as it is less likely to be fooled by dark or light backgrounds. In the end the photographer needs to master the tool as no tool can possibly know what the intentions of the photographer are. However, grass, the sky, and Caucasian skin are close enough to middle gray which is why spot-metering seemed to work out for this tutorial. And shooting in Raw helps in that if the metering is off be a stop or so you maybe able to save yourself. In the Kodachrome days sloppy metering would completely ruin your day…you had to be 'Spot On', or no more that 1/3 of a stop off in either direction. A lot of todays digital photographers would be in 'deep do-do' to put it mildly.

  • people people…. why care about the model if she is bored or something else ….. people just stupid and

  • Model would be a lot hotter if she smiled… looks like the coldest woman I've ever seen. Thx for tutorial, you made me realize I never want to date a woman like that.

  • Hi, I would like to know how to do this and get a similar shot (perfect exposure) with the same background you were having. (with the road behind in the shot, bright). Though this road scene might not be interesting here, I would like to learn how to get a perfect exposure in such situation. (situation: I think you are in the shade region and the behind road and trees are in direct sunlight)

  • I just found you and I couldn't be more happier. I ordered Photography 101 and I'm looking forward to becoming a better photographer. I wanted to give up but your videos has lit the fire that I have for photography. The way you explain everything has made it easy for me to understand. Thank you!!

  • Like others have pointed out, you can't just spot meter anything in your scene and expect it to be correctly exposed, this is not good advice. If you spot meter a white object it will be mid gray on the picture, totally off. Same if you spot meter a dark object, it will be mid gray in the picture and way off. That's because the camera can only measure the amount of light coming in, and has no way to know whether the object is black or white or gray so it takes a best guess and records it as an mid gray in the picture. The only time spot metering is accurate is when you use it on a perfectly mid gray object. This video explains it in detail starting at 1:17, check out the picture he takes at 2:04

  • Hi, Im new kinda new to this.
    Could someone explain how he is getting those nice and bright shots with low aperture, low ISO and a fairly high shutter speed? I've tried those exact settings and some variations of it in all sorts of lights; daylight, morning, evening and night, and I always end up with too dark images?
    If someone could help me out I'd be very grateful.
    I got a Canon EOS 1200D with the stock  EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DC-lens

  • Thanks for the helpful video. I love your style of explaining things.

    There's one thing I'm confused about though: When you started shooting the actual portraits, you were at the settings to correctly expose her skin (1/400th). So how come that didn't blow out the background, particularly the sky?

  • I am so glad I came across your videos today. Ive been trying so hard to understand the triangle-It just wouldn't click. But it clicked today after watch this video,(3 times), holy cow, everything clicked.

  • Newbie question. re product photography. Using Still lighting. Using canon and colur checker card. I make glass art. Each piece is the same size and shape, but each piece is made of many different colours. Im using f8 – iso 100 . Am i doing this correctly. I switch to manual. I take a photograph of my white card in front of my art. i set this as custom white balance. i then half click when camera at full zoom is focused on the cross hair on the GRAY card. I scroll until the lines on the vertical meter (exposure compensation) are at zero. i then photograph the white card again, and set this as the white balance. i then put camera on tripod and photograph, but before i full click i notice the meter is not at zero, i think i understand why, so i take my picture of my art with the colour checker in there also . when i swap the art over that was originally a dark piece, for a piece that is light in colour, the photograph produces an over exposed result. 
    What am i doing wrong ?

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