Reading the Exposure Scale

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

In my last post, I described the camera's meter as a device to measure the amount of light reaching the sensor through the lens. But how do you know how much light that is? All cameras have an exposure scale visible in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. When you set the exposure mode to manual (M), this scale indicates how much light is reaching the sensor.

When the exposure indicator appears below the zero (0) in the middle of the scale, the meter tells you enough light is reaching the sensor to make a picture with average brightness. Changing the shutter speed, aperture and/or ISO setting affects how much light reaches the meter and the exposure scale reflects those changes.

Learn more about adjusting camera controls for the desired exposure in Mastering Manual Exposure class on March 30, 2018, in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.