So early in 2010 we travel back to 1950. As follows: for beginners and for digital photographers who did not grow up in the film era: here’s the “Sunny Sixteen” rule.
When your meter is not working, you can set your exposure manually, within a fairly narrow margin of certainty. And you do this as follows:
- Assume your exposure time is set to 1/ISO. So if you are at 100 ISO, set your exposure to 1/100th second.
- Then use the following aperture settings:
- Sunny, no clouds, hard shadows: f/16
- Some light cloud, shadows soft around the edges: f/11
- Overcast, hardly any shadows: f/8
- Totrally overcast, no shadows at all: f/5.6
That’s all. Simple! And remarkably effective.
Of course you can use equivalent exposures in all this; e.g. 200 ISO at 1/200th second, or 400 ISO at 1/400th second. And you can adjust aperture simlarly: 100 to 200 ISO means f/8 would go to f/11, for example.