Exposure for difficult subjects to Meter.

Sometimes you run into situations in low light that you have a difficult time trying to get the right exposure for your subject.

Here are some settings you can use as a starting point to better your chances at getting the shot exposed correctly. Note that these exposures are based on the assumption your ISO is at 400. If your lens is not fast enough to use the suggested f-stop then use your widest aperture and adjust your shutter speed or ISO.

Also remember to bracket!

Subject Setting
Campfire 1/30 sec @ f/5.6

f/11 at various shutter speeds
ranging from 1/2 second to 4 seconds.
Or keep shutter open long enough to get several bursts
Floodlit building,
monuments, fountains
1/4 sec @ f/5.6

Lighted Christmas tree,
outdoors with snow
1/15 sec @ f/5.6

Lighted Christmas tree,
1/15 sec @ f/5.6


f/11, keeping shutter open until
you capture the strike
1/500 sec @ f/16
1/500 sec @ f/11
1/125 sec @ f/8
Eclipse of Moon
In penumbra
(edge of shadow area)
In umbra
(deep shadow area)
1/125 sec @ f/8

1 second at f/2.8

Moonlit Landscape
(moon not in picture)
60 sec @ f/4

Moonlit Snowscape 30 sec @ f/4
Moving Traffic
(light patterns at night)
10 seconds @ f/16

Skyline 10 minutes
after sunset
1/125 sec @ f/5.6

Skyline at night
with lit windows
1 sec @ f/4

Spotlighted Performances 1/125 sec @ f/5.6
Street scenes,
brightly lit
1/60 sec @ f/4

Thanks for reading

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