Exposure – Preview 1

This lesson is on exposure. Below is some exposure background material (prerequisites). The videos are not essential for those comfortable with exposure.

  • 1. Freeman Patterson is one of my favorite photographers. I’d like to start with an extract from his book Photography for the Joy of It. Since our course is aimed at learning to make creative stand-out-from-the-crowd images it is √†propos.

Exposing a picture correctly is nothing more than controlling accurately the amount of light which reaches the film during a given period of time.
The only correct exposure for any subject is the exposure you want.
Your light meter [see my note at bottom of the post – Ed] will be an invaluable guide in measuring the intensity of light and indicating basic exposure, but it can’t measure your wishes.
It can’t tell you how bright or how dark you want the final picture to appear, so once it has told you what it can, thank it kindly for the information and then make some common sense decisions.

This extract was a single paragraph without italics. I changed it. The basic message is that there are no rules. Creative photography is about saying what you want to say in the way you want to say it. It’s a personal statement and style. Don’t worry about what others do or say – do it your way. Freeman’s final phrase, “….then make some common sense decisions.” – coincides with my belief that –

Even though there are no rules, there are guidelines and conventions which you should understand first before going your own way – else your way may appear to be a mistake or accident.


  • 2. Here are two videos (a Part 1 & 2) on exposure. They were made by Craig Tanner of The Mindful Eye, an excellent instructor. They explain all you need about exposure using a digital camera. Please watch these unless you really know exposure (to test your understanding read the next post, Exposure – Preview 2). If you can’t pass the Preview 2 test and can’t take the time to view the videos, you’re going to be wasting your time past this point – better to quit right here.
  • NOTE – Before you can view these videos, you must register at the Mindful Eye site – just takes a minute – and it’s a good site to visit later.
  1. Exposure #1
  2. Exposure #2

[NOTE] – Your camera contains a built-in reflected-light meter. It tells you the shutter speed & aperture settings needed to make the average exposure level of your image middle gray.


0 thoughts on “Exposure – Preview 1”

  1. When you click on either of his exposure links in this post, you are taken to a page at his site. The center of the page is white and contains a black square containing the video title. To the right of the black square are the words LAUNCH VIDEO. Click on the words LAUNCH VIDEO and a new window will open and the video will begin. Please let me know if this works for you.

  2. Ed, I’m sorry to bother you, but I can’t get the two videos from Craig Tanner to work or even show up on the link. Is there something I am doing wrong? Thank you. Pat W.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.