Your Life As Art – Exposure Meter

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Last week, we made the jump to manual mode. You set ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed on your camera to get a properly exposed image. While you were looking at the back of your camera to check to see if your image was exposed properly, you could have been relying on your exposure meter.

FrisakPhotographyExposureMeter

What is the Exposure Meter?

The exposure meter helps determine if you have a properly exposed image. The goal is to have the marker lined up in the middle. If it is too far to the right, the image will be overexposed or too bright. If it is to the left, the image will be underexposed or too dark.

FrisakPhotographyExposureMeter2

Where Can I Find the Exposure Meter?

You can see your exposure meter when you look through your viewfinder or sometimes on the screen on the back of your camera.

How do I get the Exposure Meter Marker in the middle?

Remember, the exposure meter is showing you how bright or dark your image will be. In order to adjust the marker of the exposure meter, you must adjust your camera settings (ISO, Aperture, or Shutter Speed).

If your exposure meter is too far to the right, your image will be too bright. How do you adjust an image that is too bright? You can raise your shutter speed, you can lower your ISO, or you can raise your aperture. The adjustment you choose depends on the type of image you are taking. Refer back to the exposure triangle post for a refresher on how all 3 settings work together.

Check out the 3 images below and notice how the Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO changed for each. You can see a small square on the exposure meter which indicates whether the image is overexposed, properly exposed or underexposed.

FrisakPhotographyExposureMeterOverExposed

FrisakPhotographyExposureMeterProper

FrisakPhotographyExposureMeterUnderExposed

Life As Art Assignment #5
Put your camera in Manual Mode. Input your initial settings (best guess) and look at the exposure meter. Where is the marker? Is it center, left, or right? Adjust your settings and watch where the marker moves.

Remember to keep in mind the type of image you are taking as well. If you want to freeze your kids running, make sure your shutter speed is high enough (minimum of 1/200, preferably higher). If you want a blurry background, make sure your aperture is low (f2.8). Then adjust your other settings accordingly.

As I mentioned in my first Your Life As Art post, the only way to get better is with practice, practice, practice.

Let me know how you’re doing or if you have any questions by commenting on my Facebook post.

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