Drop Auto: Get Perfect Exposure with Your Camera's Manual Settings | Phil Ebiner | Skillshare

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Drop Auto: Get Perfect Exposure with Your Camera's Manual Settings

teacher avatar Phil Ebiner, Video | Photo | Design

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction to Course

    • 2. Project: Pet Portraits

    • 3. What is aperture (aka F-Stop)?

    • 4. What is shutter speed?

    • 5. How does exposure work in 3 minutes

    • 6. What is ISO?

    • 7. What is exposure?

    • 8. What is the exposure triangle?

    • 9. Using the camera's light meter

    • 10. Thank You - What's Next?

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About This Class

You're a photographer and you want to learn how to shoot with the manual settings of your camera. Getting proper exposure is one of the trickiest things to do when you stop using the auto feature. Getting perfect exposure comes down to two things: 1) how much light is hitting your subject and 2) how your camera controls the amount of light being captured.

This course teaches you how to use your camera’s aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get perfect exposure every time. This ‘exposure triangle’ is one of the first steps to taking better photos on your own.

Meet Your Teacher

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Phil Ebiner

Video | Photo | Design


Can I help you learn a new skill?

Since 2012 have been teaching people like you everything I know. I create courses that teach you how to creatively share your story through photography, video, design, and marketing.

I pride myself on creating high quality courses from real world experience.


I've always tried to live life presently and to the fullest. Some of the things I love to do in my spare time include mountain biking, nerding out on personal finance, traveling to new places, watching sports (huge baseball fan here!), and sharing meals with friends and family. Most days you can find me spending quality time with my lovely wife, twin boys and a baby girl, and dog Ashby.

In 2011, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Film and Tele... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Course: So you're a photographer. That's always been a little bit confused about exposure. What is aperture? What's I s O? What is Shutter Speed? How do they work together To get perfect exposure. That's what this class is here to teach you. My name is Phil. Evan er I'm a professional video creator, photographer and online instructor. I've co taught this class with my good friends, Sand, and we wanted to break down this topic of exposure so that beginners and intermediate photographers like you understand fully how to get perfect exposure with your camera using the manual settings. So we break down all of those mystifying topics like eso shutter speed aperture. So you know, and are comfortable getting exposure with your manual settings. I hope you're excited for this class and we'll see you inside. 2. Project: Pet Portraits: Hey, everyone. So I first wanted to introduce this course with the course project. I believe a great skill share classes, one that has a fun and engaging project that lots of students want to take part in. So what better than taking a pet portrait to show off your new skills of being able to manually expose properly, we want you to take a picture of your pet. If you don't have a pet, you can go outside, find a wild animal or go over to a friend's house and take a pit picture of their puppy or their cat or whatever type of animal you choose. But really, we want you to use the manual settings that we're going to be covering throughout this class to take the photo. So please post a photo of your pet and then please include the settings that you shot the photo at. So your left up your shutter speed and your eyes so so that we know what you shot your photo at. Thank you so much for watching this video. Please continue with the lessons, and then once you have learned how to manually expose your photos, take a photo of your pet and post it to the course as it project. Thanks a lot and I can't wait to see your picks. 3. What is aperture (aka F-Stop)?: so the first step in controlling exposure is through your lens, and the only thing within the lens actually controls the MAV light. Entering is your iris or F stop or aperture. You'll hear all three of these terms thrown around. So what that stop does is it allows you to close down to reduce amount light coming through your lens. Now this has a lot of different factors. Many different lens makers have different techniques of doing this, and it's really a pretty incredible science. So in Muslims is on the front. Here you'll have a number that says one colon and then number, and that number is the fastest or the most open that that lens can go. Typically, these numbers go from 2.84568 11 16 22. Each of these numbers correlate to a way of reading light, and what it is is that with each number you're increasing the light double. You're laying in twice as much light, or you're taking away twice as much lights. So going from 1/2 1.42 F two point a your effectively cutting the light in half, you're reducing the Mount light coming in, and it's a little confusing because sometimes people say, Oh, let's stop down and then you're going to a higher number. But really, what you're saying is you're reducing the mouth of light coming into your lens. The easiest way to think of an iris is to think of your own eyes. Actually, the pupil is one of the most incredible lenses in the world. If you go outside and look into a friend's eyes, you can see that their pupils will be very small. You go inside the into a dark room, let's say, and the pupils will begin to open there, allowing more light in allowing you to see better in that dark. So although that camera lens is very similar to your eye and you're able to reduce the amount of light coming in, there's many other factors that come into getting a good exposure through our pupil. You then have the brain with the most sophisticated things in the world, and for a camera, there's a lot more that goes into getting that right exposure. So another key element to your iris or your F stop is that as you open up as you have that lower number, your depth of field gets much less so, let's say, hashing out F 1.4. So if you look at this image, it's shot out of F 1.4. The depth of field is incredibly shallow, and although you're able to see in a very dark situation, it's really hard to get everything in focus. On the flip side, if you go down to F 16 much more comes in. Focus on your depth of field becomes made much greater, and this is really where the F stop affects your image, it says. How much is gonna be in focus? And how difficult is it going to be for you to get what you want to be in focus? And while we're just touching on this here, we will be coming back to this in talking about how focus affects your image. How do you control that? And what are the other factors when getting things in focus? There's a reason that people say it's all about the glass. This is the first thing that light travels to and ultimately gives you the look that your camera is going to be seeing 4. What is shutter speed?: the last section we talked about the iris and how that controls how much light comes through the lens, and the next step that the light interacts with is the shutter. And what the shutter does is it allows light to actually hit your sensor because as you're looking through your viewfinder, you're seeing the light coming through the lens. You're seeing how much light there is. But it's the shutter that says how long that light will hit your sensor and expose to get an image. So you might have heard the term shutter speed and what that is. Is it the number given to how quickly the shutters actually moving? So let's say you're shooting Ah, 18 the second. That's pretty fast, right? The shot is moving up and down, but in terms of a camera that's actually really slow. And if you're holding it handheld, you might not get clean image. On the other hand, it's more typical to shoot closer to 1 250th of a 2nd 1 4/1000 of a second. And that's literally the shutter, moving up and down that quick. So shooting out 1/8 shutter speed is allowing more light in its, allowing your picture to be brighter, as opposed to a 1 4000 shutter speed where it's a really quick shutter and you're not allowing as much light in. The other factor with this, though, is that as you slow down your shutter, its possible that you'll start to get blurry images. Typically, if your handheld going under 1/60 of a second your hands, it's it's hard to keep it study and you'll start to get blurred images that 1/30 or blow that even. And so, depending on your situation to paying on how much light there is, you change your shutter speed. You decide. Oh, well, I want to shoot out enough. Four. So now I'm gonna, you know, crank my shutter speed really high because there's a lot of light outside. Or maybe you don't have any light, and so you're making your shutter move a little bit slower, allowing more light in. It's really important that you test that you take a few practice shots and see what you're capable of doing. Personally, I always like shooting out 1 100 I think that's really safe. Even if something's moving quickly, it will be crisp and clean and not blurry. But sometimes you're in a low light situation and you need that slower shutter speed. And so you have to find a way to stabilize your camera and get a shot that's not too blurry . This isn't to say that you shouldn't use slow to shutter speeds. There's a lot of ways that you can use it created creatively and actually get some really cool effects with it. One of my favorites is seeing the car lights at night. You have these long streaks of light moving across the freeway, and this is all done with a slow shutter speed. But ultimately you have to test. You have to go see what 1/30 looks like. What does one second exposure look like? What does a 32nd exposure look like? And this is the best way to go and see this for yourself. 5. How does exposure work in 3 minutes: this video will try to explain how exposure works as quickly as possible. First you have the sun, which creates light that reflects upon objects in our world. Then you have a camera that tries to capture this'll. Light the light enters the camera through a lens, and there are three basic functions of the camera that help control light that you get proper exposure, a photo that isn't too bright or too dark. First, there's aperture Aperture. Also referred to as the iris, or F stop, is the diameter of the hole inside your lens. The bigger the hole, the more light that enters the smaller the whole. The less like big hole equals brighter image than a small hole. The confusing thing is that the smaller F stop number represents a larger opening. For example, going from F 1.42 F two decreases the size of the aperture and therefore allows less light into the camera. So if it's very bright outside, you may have to decrease the size of the aperture, but that is actually increasing the F stop number. Next function to control light is the shutter speed. Cameras have a shutter that opens and closes to allow light into the cameras body. The faster this opens and closes, the less light comes in, even though one second may seem fast to you and me, that is very slow for a camera shutter speed, and that would mean a lot of light entering your camera. Shutters can go faster than 1/1000 of a second, and these fast shutters allow us to capture moving objects like this hummingbird. So remember, a longer shutter allows more light in, so you might have to slow down your shutter speed if it is dark outside. The last function of your camera that controls exposure is the eyes. Oh, the ISO is basically the sensitivity of your camera sensor, a digital wonder that captures the light and turns it into a digital photo. The higher the I S O means it's more sensitive and makes a brighter photo negative side to raising your eyes. So when it start is that it comes with green, so the higher your eyes, so the more Granier photo will be depending on your camera, you'll be able to raise the eso higher without getting green. The art of photography is to balance these three functions aperture, shutter speed and I so to get proper exposure and the photography masterclass dives deeper into each of these functions. But hopefully now you already understand a little bit more about your camera and how to use the manual functions to get proper exposure. 6. What is ISO?: so after Iris and shutter speed, the final aspect of exposure is the isso or what they used to call s a The also has changed over the years, though, And what it was once for film has, in a way, trends translated into digital, but slightly different now. So the I s o were s a became a rating system to say how sensitive a piece of film waas now back in the day film was made of crystals and they were actually reacting to the light chemically, and you would go through the whole process of exposing that image in the dark room and securing that image into the film. Now 100 I s o meant that had the film had very fine crystals, that you'd have a very clean image. But it would also require much more light to expose that image on the other side. Let's say 1600 speed I e isso meant that you had much larger crystals and that you could take photos in much darker situations. But you'd also have much grainier image, would be able to see these crystals in the film, and a lot of people say that they love film because you had a texture. Because those crystals were random, they created a different look to them. Today you have the ISO principle in digital photography, but it's all created from a computer. It's all ones and zeroes, and you grit certain looks that you could only get with film that you don't get in digital nowadays. So today, in modern photography, digital photography, we still use the isso rating system. It's the same numbers. Ah 100. I so means that it will be less sensitive and require more light, and 1600 Aiso means will be more sensitive and you won't need as much light. The really exciting thing about today, though, is that cameras are going much more sensitive and you're able to shoot at 326,400 one cameras shooting 400,000 I s O and getting a fairly clean image. Dumb cameras can see better than our eyes at night. So as you increase your eyes, so in the digital age, you still have to worry about that grain, the same as you did in film, but slightly different today because it's a computer reproducing an image that isn't actually there, whereas the crystals were reacting to actual light. This is all dependent on the camera you're using and how it reads light, how it reads grain, how it reproduces grain. And ultimately, the only thing that I can tell you to do is go test. What is your camera capable of doing? Some cameras. 6400 still looks great. And you have a nice clean image. Others 6400 will look like red, green and blue dots. So another factor in this is your sensor size in How sensitive can your camera actually get ? Because although the I s a ratings always the same, a full frame camera versus a crop sensor camera is gonna have radically different sensitivities. What the full frame sensor allows you to do is have more light coming into your camera and a greater area for that light to expose on. When you look at an iPhone, for example, you have a tiny sensor in there, and it's pretty incredible images you can get. But the ultimate downfall is when you go into night time and it's really hard for the camera to see at night. A professional camera, though, like the Nikon D 800 has such a large sensor that you're able to see in very low light situations. So remember that although the iris and the shutter speed affect how much like come in your eyes so rating is going ultimately affect how sensitive is your camera? The best thing you can do is go in practice and see what your cameras capable of what I a celebrating. Do you prefer? But what do you okay to sacrifice? When is grain okay? And how sensitive are you willing to go? 7. What is exposure?: So today we're gonna be talking a lot about dropping the auto setting and going into manual , and the most key factor of this is to learn about exposure. So what the camera is doing is it's taking an image. It's taking the light that is reflecting off of everything out there, and it's controlling how much light comes in and hits your sensor. So there's two factors of us. There's what's hitting your subject. What is on the thing that you're trying take A photo of you can see right now is light hitting the side of my face. There's less light here, but there's still light. It's still reflecting off of something. The next factor is how you control the camera. How do you say how much of this light enters your camera and make it so it's exposed correctly. If you are over exposed, you have too much light coming in and you'll get a white image or things in your frame will be white whiter. Ah, if you're under exposed, you end up crushing everything. You end up getting a lot more blacks. You end up losing a lot of the information, and it becomes much more contrast. So basically exposure is controlling how much light is hitting your sensor? How bright is your image? How contrast E is your image? So they're three tools within the camera that control how much light enters and hits your sensor. There's the F stop shutter speed, and I eso will be covering these in the next few lessons. 8. What is the exposure triangle?: So now that we've talked about the exposure and was the iris, what is the shutter speed and was the I? So the real skill in a photographer is to take all three of those and put them together. Some people call this the exposure triangle the three main elements that affect how you're gonna expose your image when it comes to exposure. There's no set rule on what you're supposed to do. This is really something that you, as a photographer, get to decide what f stop Do you prefer what shutter speed? What I s o and dependent on the situation, you'll find yourself preferring a certain look to another. I personally think it's easiest to say, Oh, well, it's kind of bright outside, So I'm going to shoot I I s 0 100 because I know we'll have enough light for that and then I'll decide Well, I want to shoot at four, let's say And from there, whatever the shutter needs to be all just accordingly. There's other times, though, that say I go into a dark room and I'm like, Oh, man, I need I need all the light I can get. I'll take it to the highest I so that I'm comfortable shooting at Let's say I so 1600. And then I'll go down to, Ah, 1/60 shutter speed because that's the point where I know I could be handheld and not get too much blur and I'll open That stopped to where it needs to be and dependent on what my image looks like. I'll take this shot. Look at it, say, Oh, I need more light. Okay, well, I guess I'll take the f stop all, open it up a little bit more or we'll make the isil just a little bit more sensitive. Um, a big part of this is to practice. Take test shots and then import to your computer. Look at the image on a computer screen and see if you're able to edit the metal. See what you're able to do in the post production. That's a huge step in this. So when it comes time to shoot, you really need to be thinking about these three factors, and sometimes it's best to set your eye, so sort of, forget about it. Focus on shutter and aperture, or try taking one shot at eso 102 104 108 100,000 2000 and then later go look at them. Go see what they look like, what's the difference and decide what you like. Then try shooting at every F stop. This is really the best thing you can do with digital photography is take thousands of photos, just practice, practice, practice, see what you're I likes and find the exposure that's right for you. 9. Using the camera's light meter: So the final tool in getting your photo exposed correctly and getting in focus is your light meter. And this is actually really great tool that a lot of film cameras 35 millimeter film cameras would use because it's a way of letting you know when is your photo exposed correctly? And you can do this without ever taking a photo, even because back in the day of film you didn't want to take 10 test shots. You could only take that one shot, and the light meter was a very important tool to make sure that you're exposed. Some cameras. You look at the light meter from the top here and there will be a middle mark and then a plus one plus two, plus three to the right and then a minus one minus two minus three to the left. Other cameras. You have to look through the viewfinder to see that, and some you can actually see on this back screen here. So the way that the light meter works is that it's basically telling you how overexposed or how under exposed your images, and simply by looking at it, you can no oh, I need to make my shutter speed a little bit faster or I need to open up my f stop. So as you go to take a photo, you conserve. Click the Prepa and I'll show you actually underneath. Where is your image right now? Is that over exposes under exposed and without even looking through the viewfinder? I can tell I'm currently too overexposed, which means it's two stops to F stops overexposed. So if I go and stop down, I'm now exposed, and that's all without even looking into it. So now I gotta take a photo, and it's nice exposed. So although the light meter will tell you when your images in the middle when it's properly exposed, that's not to say that sometimes you don't want it to be overexposed or under exposed. Sometimes when taking a photo of a landscape, you'll have some buildings or something that's really deep in the shadows, and it might be telling you it's under exposer. That's too bright, but then you go and take a photo and your sky looks great. But there's other areas in the image that are really dark, and that's no bad thing that serve your creative choice. But ultimately I wouldn't. You go and test see what it looks like when it's right in the middle. Maybe overexpose it, see what that looks like under exposing, Um, it's really useful tool. And as you get to know your camera better you'll be able to know. Oh, well, I'm taking a picture of a tree. I want to be a little overexposed because I know those shadows air going get a little too dark for me. So now that you've learned Will light meter is I would say that you should go out and practice. You don't take a picture where your minus two in your exposure. Take a picture away, your minus one and your picture. Take one way or plus three in your picture and see how those images differ. Now you might see that oval ones plus three. My camera can't handle it, and it's completely white image. Or you might see that Oh, plus three actually gives a really cool factor. I really like that look and that way, you know, the next time you're in a scenario where you're shooting and you're like, Oh, it's out plus too well, maybe we'll make even a little bit brighter and you go and take that shot and it comes out looking great again when shooting Digital test has test. But when shooting film, the light meter will become your best friend. I'm knowing whether or not your images exposed and whether or not you should take that photo. 10. Thank You - What's Next?: Hey, everyone, thank you so much for taking this class on exposure on skill share. I really appreciate it that you were able to take it. And if you posted a picture of your pet, I just want to say thanks a lot. And if you haven't done so, please do the project and post a project with your pet portrait so we can all see your favorite animal. And I just want to say there are some other classes on here that you might be interested in . I have a number of photography related classes and video related classes as well. Some classes related to building an online business. So check out my profile on scale share and sign up for some of my other classes, especially if you enjoy this one. Some of you might have realized that a lot of the lessons in this class are taken directly from the photography masterclass, which is a 10 plus our course on all things related to photography. And we just wanted to break this topic out into its separate class on skill share because we thought a lot of people would be really interested in exposure. And so if you did enjoy this class. That is one other class. I highly suggest you checking out. Thank you so much for watching. Posting your projects. Have a great day and we'll see you in another class.