August 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm #13288
I got a camera for the first time and I went through the user manual, and acquired a lot more information about using the camera, and I spent a lot of time playing around the camera, and now I understand the relation between shutter speed, aperture opening, and their impact on exposure. What I understand is that the shutter speed is inversely proportional to aperture opening to maintain the constant exposure.
I shot a photo at 1/4000 of sec (fastest shutter speed) , and f/3.5 as aperture (widest aperture) in daylight, which means I had a wide lens opening for letting in the light but the final image still came out to be dark. Can anyone explain this?August 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm #13306
I can completely relate to this problem because I was also curious to play around with the camera settings when I first got hold of a professional camera my friend bought. The instance he showed me his camera, I got busy with various modes, controls and dials. My friend was pursuing a photography course from his school and I used to move around with him for all his assignments. As he used to shoot the pictures, he used to explain me the various settings. Sometimes he used to get specific assignments for just playing around with specific modes.
On one such assignments, he was shooting in the manual mode. And it was amazing that finally the camera was completely in our control. We tried out weird combos of shutter speed and aperture. Sometimes we used to get a complete dark picture and rarely could we get a picture with proper exposure. It was at that time that we realized that the manual mode was not our cup of tea.
My friend queried about the manual mode and its erratic behavior at his photography school. And this is what he explained me.
When the camera is in the auto modes, the camera meters the scene, reads the light and automatically sets the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. While working in semi-auto modes (aperture priority or shutter priority), even though we can control either aperture or shutter speed but the camera varies the other parameter, i.e if you are controlling the aperture, camera will set shutter speed itself and thus sets the exposure itself according to the meter reading. But when we are working in the manual mode, camera leaves everything on you, i.e, you have to set aperture, exposure, ISO all by yourself. You will have to meter the scene yourself, may be with the help of external light meter and set aperture, shutter speed and ISO accordingly to get the proper exposure. Any random values will not get you the proper exposure be it the widest aperture.August 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm #13309
Even I tried playing around with the manual mode, and many times I shot scenes with fastest shutter speed and widest apertures, but still the image came out to be as dark as difficult to discern it. I did a research on it and found the answer as very basic simple fact of optics.
Human eye is very much sensitive and flexible to changes it needs to do, to see clearly in sudden changing optical conditions. And human eye can even see in darker realm to some extent. But camera is not that sensitive, the exposure of an image entirely depends on the intensity of light falling on sensor for a particular span of time. So what we see a scene and interpret it as brighter may not be brighter for camera, and hence what we deem the light as normal day light may not be sufficient for the camera sensor to impose an image on.
Manual mode is one of the ways to implement your creativity in photography for advanced users, but they should also have an external metering device to calculate the intensity of light at different place comprising the scene, to be sure of the fact that the amount of light (they can see) is intense enough to expose on camera sensor as well, a sharper and brighter image of the scene being shot.
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