Lock in Your Exposure

Manual exposure mode ("M" on the exposure dial) provides the most control over both the exposure and appearance of your images. This can be especially useful when you are photographing a moving subject under constant lighting but the background varies in brightness.

Calf roping at the Augusta, Montana, rodeo
1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 400, 200mm

I encountered such conditions at the Augusta, Montana, rodeo a couple years ago. All the events were happening in the glaring bright light of the arena. But the background alternated between deeply shaded trees and bright shirts of people in the grandstand. I set the lens wide open and measured the light off the dirt in the arena. Then I was able to adjust my ISO and shutter speed to give me at least 1/500 second to stop the action and still get an average brightness exposure. With these settings dialed into manual mode, my subjects remained properly exposed no matter what kind of background was behind them.

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.