Get Consistent Exposures with Manual Mode

Photographing the waves crashing over the rocks along the Pacific shore of Oregon is endlessly fascinating. The water never flows the same way twice. But there's a big brightness difference between the white water and the very dark rocks. With the first strike of the water, the rocks are usually completely covered. As the water drains away, more dark rock becomes visible and there is less bright water.

Oregon Coast
1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 400, 55mm

These constantly shifting amounts of light and dark in the scene would produce exposures of varying brightness if I was shooting in Program or Aperture Priority mode, potentially losing important texture and detail in the flowing water or the barnacle-covered rocks.

Oregon coast with more water
1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 400, 55mm

By dialing in my preferred shutter speed to record the motion of the water without losing detail and adjusting my aperture and ISO for a proper exposure in Manual mode, all the images in the series received the same exposure.

Oregon coast with less water
1/40 sec, f/8, ISO 400, 55mm

If you want to take more control of your photos by mastering manual exposure, join me at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana, on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Click here to register.