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Arriving at the best exposure for a photo is part science and part art. In Foundations of Photography: Exposure, Ben Long helps photographers expand their artistic options by giving them a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all other critical exposure practices. This course covers the basic exposure controls provided by all digital SLR cameras, as well as most advanced point-and-shoot models. Learn how to master a camera's metering modes, how to use exposure compensation and bracketing, and much more. By the end of the course, you'll know how to develop an "exposure strategy" that will allow you to effectively employ your exposure knowledge in any shooting situation.
Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are all there is to exposure, and by now you should be comfortable with the idea that how you set those settings doesn't matter. What makes a good photographer is not whether he uses priority or manual mode or program mode or whatever; what makes a good photographer is whether he or she understands what those three exposure settings need to be to achieve a particular end, or deal with a particular type of light. How you set them doesn't matter. No one ever looked at a nicely exposed pretty image and said, "Oh! That's really nice.
It's too bad it was shot in program mode." It just doesn't work that way. We have looked at the exposure compensation control, which allows you to tell the camera to over- or underexpose above or below what its meter thinks the scene should be, and we have also looked at program shift, which lets you cycle through all of the reciprocal combinations for any particular lighting situation. Think for a moment now about how if you are in program mode, the way that you can combine those two settings. I might see a scene. I might be walking around, in program mode, and I am in program mode because I want to be able to just move quickly, and I don't have any particular artistic goals in mind. And maybe a scene starts unfolding very quickly, and I need some manual control. Having to figure out what mode I might want to be in and switch might take enough time that I can't get there.
But with the combination of program shift and exposure compensation, I actually have pretty much full manual control when I am in program mode. I can meter my scene in program mode, use my program shift control to either get to the aperture or shutter speed that I want, and then if I decide I need some over- or underexposure maybe for backlight or to increase color saturation, I can just dial in some exposure compensation. That is basically allowing me to select very specific apertures and shutter speed without ever leaving program mode. So those are two controls that it's a good idea to get a get a strong handle on and start practicing using them in combination, because the two of them combined with program mode might be all the manual control you ever need for some situations.
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