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As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

exposure metering and camera settings

Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
edited December 2010 in general photography
Suraj wrote:

Hi Neil, I am from Nepal - a poor but small and very beautiful country in South Asia - country of Mount Everest. May be I was late to discover your website but now after having discovered it, I have gotten addicted to it. I ve learnt so many things which I could ve never learnt otherwise. I am a beginner and I mostly click pictures in either P or A mode ( I got Nikon D70s - 18-105 mm lens and SB600 flash ). But I m not fully satisfied with my exposures which I think are either slightly underexposed or over exposed most of the time. So, now I want to switch to manual mode for which I would apprecaite highly if you could reply my following queries :

a) How do I decide upon what aperture and speed to get the perfect exposure? I just want to click the sharp and perfectly exposed pictures like you do.
b) If my camera's meter shows f-5.6 and speed 1/40 as correct exposure inside a room and now if I want to add flash to my subject, what changes in aperture and speed shud I make for the correct exposure? Coz flashes would definitely be too bright
c) In your examples, I ve noticed that in flash photography, in some pics you use speed of 1/250 and in some pics even as low as 1/6. So, please advise when to use such a low speed like 1/6 and fast speed like 1/250 when using flash.
d) Can your book be delivered in Nepal too if I order it?

I am a very eager student who want to excel in photography and you valued guidance and advices would be highly appreciated. Thanks once again.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited December 2013
    Hi there Suraj ...

    Your questions all relate to basic exposure metering.
    It is best to move away from the idea that specific settings - the combination of specific numeric values - have meaning in and of themselves when it comes to exposure metering.

    Instead, it is the METHOD that is all important.
    Once we understand how to get our exposures correct by metering correctly, then we're good.

    For a start, I would recommend going over these following pages:

    They contain essential info about exposure metering concepts.

    Then also go over this page:

    In those pages are the answers to your questions. It's about the method.

    It will also then become apparent why I sometimes use slow shutter speeds, and sometimes fast shutter speeds.

    About my book ... I am sure it could be delivered to Nepal.

    Neil vN
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