Several professional photographers might have heard of the sunny 16 rule, and implemented it in their daily photography routines to get a good exposure of the images. Some might have heard and acquired partial knowledge about it, and amateurs might have not heard them at all. To avoid confusions, gaining a good knowledge of the sunny 16 rule would be very useful in getting stunning clicks during any daylight situation. Thus, having learned the concepts would give a platform to improvise your photography career.
What is Sunny 16 rule?
It is a way to estimate the correct exposure of the daylight without having a light meter. This rule applies to different weather conditions.
Sunny 16 rule on different weather conditions
As per the lighting condition of the particular location, you have to access the aperture settings.
On a bright sunny day, if we set an aperture of f/16 and ISO to 100. Then, shutter speed will be exactly the inverse of ISO, which is 1/100s.
On the basis of sunny rule, let’s look into some examples with different weather conditions.
Example 1: Let’s assume that the weather is hazy. Thus, having set the aperture to f/11. During this situation, if we use ISO 100 then, shutter speed will be reduced to one stop difference, which is from 1/100s to 1/200s. It means the aperture f/11 gains twice the light of f/16. Hence, the shutter speed has to be faster to avoid excessive light and get balanced exposure of hazy sunshine.
Example 2: Let’s assume another weather situation for better clarification. The weather has a heavy overcast situation. During this situation, according to the rule, set an aperture to f/5.6. Now let’s use, ISO 200 instead of ISO 100. You must notice that shutter speed will be now, reduced to 3 stop difference from aperture f/16; which is from 1/200s to 1/400s, 1/400s to 1/800s, 1/800s to 1/1600s. This is done since f/5.6 acquires thrice the light of f/16. Hence, shutter speed will have 3 stop difference and thrice the faster, which is at 1/1600s; to avoid excessive lightings, and get well-balanced exposure.
<h2 style=”font-weight: bold; font-size: 28px; line-height: 25px;”>Playing with shutter speed for stunning exposure</h2>
Once you have a clear knowledge of sunny rule 16, you can play with the shutter speed to get better and stunning exposure. Let’s take an example to be clearly understood.
Example 3: The weather is moderately overcast and according to the rule, the aperture is set at f/8, let’s keep ISO at 400. Aperture f/8 has two stop difference of f/16. Thus, the aperture f/8 gains twice the light of f/16. So, the shutter speed should be reduced to, two stop difference from 1/400s to 1/800s, 1/800s to 1/1600s to prevent the excessive light from entering the lens and get a well-balanced exposure.
Now, shutter speed is 1/1600s when the aperture is f/8 and ISO 400. Thus, you have the license to modify and play with the shutter speeds; and, check whether you can get better and stunning images.
Two uses of Sunny Rule
- By looking at the weather conditions, you can know what kind of settings to set in your camera to get the right exposure.
- You can test whether your camera is getting the right exposure to different weather conditions. Some situations camera might not work well during lower light conditions even though the camera is brand new. So, this rule is very helpful when you test the cameras.
Ultimately, having a good knowledge of sunny 16 rules, assist you in giving perfect exposure for photographs during different daylight conditions, and also this rule gives a blueprint to set the camera settings in changing weather conditions.
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