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Steve's Photographic Landscapes

Week 2

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All photographs on these pages are Copyright protected.
They must not be saved or printed or altered in any manner.
C-2003  Steve Gadomski

New version Adobe Elements 5.0 just announced! Pre-order at my affiliate store. Special upgrade price from Elements 4.0 available!

Interpreting your camera's reflective light meter
These orange slice photos illustrate what properly exposed photographs should look like. Note that in the properly exposed image (center), detail is visible in the highlight areas, as well as in the shadows. Once film ISO is properly set, aim your camera at the subject, and alter the shutter speed and/or aperture until the metering scale indicates proper exposure (0) in this case.
The overexposed image has that "washed out" or "blown out" look. There is no detail visible in most areas of the image. It is too bright. Not a pretty picture.
The underexposed image is too dark to see good detail. The shadow areas are completely lacking in detail. Also not a pretty picture. 
These images attempt illustrate what your light meter scale might look like as seen through your camera viewfinder.

3 stops overexposed

Proper exposure

3 stops underexposed

Gray card and your light meter
The on-board light meter in your camera assumes that your subject is of a nicely balanced 18% gray tone. If your subject is in fact extremely light or dark toned, your light meter will not give an accurate reading for your film (or digital chip). Recognizing this situation, it is up to the photographer to adjust your exposure when the camera is in manual mode. You will have to either open up, or stop down the aperture for proper exposure.
Below is a gray card sample. Depending on your monitor, the color/brightness value may not be accurate.

Gray card

Handouts from week 2
The links below are .pdf files. You may save(or print) them to your hard drive for personal use only.

click here to download Glossary Of Photography C 2003 Steve Gadomski

click here to download F Stop Guide C 2003 Steve Gadomski

Adobe Elements 5.0  New version!  Order here at my affiliate store

Buy artwork by Steve Gadomski at

Copyright-2007  Steve Gadomski, All rights reserved