02/14/07 171 W, 1 I - + 13 - 15 Night Photography and Exposures

Answering a reader question, here's a tip on capturing the correct exposure when shooting at night. When you point and shoot at the brightest thing in the frame-- flames, lights, etc.-- the camera (in automatic or semi-automatic mode) adjusts the exposure and likely renders everything else in the frame too dark. To compensate for this, first frame the shot. Next, aim the camera at something in the frame that is darker than the brightest object in the frame. Press the shutter trigger halfway to lock the focus and exposure settings. Then recompose the picture with the desired framing. Try that a couple times and check the LCD viewer after each shot. You'll get the hang of it. Additional options include (a.) using a flash, which doesn't always work very well and (b.) changing some of the manual camera settings for shutter speed, exposure, etc. And, don't forget to change the ISO setting to a higher or the highest possible setting.

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