Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sunny 16 Rule: Shooting Outdoors On A Sunny Day

Get Totally Rad, software I purchased but have yet to use, published on its blog the "Sunny 16 Rule", which I thought I'd share, so that I can come back and refer to it when needed.

A term from the pre-digital, film days, Totally Rad came up with a handy, dandy infographic with tips on how to shoot outdoors on a clear, sunny day without a light meter.

Wikipedia explains the rule:
The basic rule is, "On a sunny day set aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the [reciprocal of the] ISO film speed [or ISO setting] for a subject in direct sunlight."[1] For example:

On a sunny day and with ISO 100 film / setting in the camera, one sets the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to 1/100 or 1/125 second (on some cameras 1/125 second is the available setting nearest to 1/100 second).
On a sunny day with ISO 200 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/200 or 1/250.
On a sunny day with ISO 400 film / setting and aperture at f/16, set shutter speed to 1/400 or 1/500.
Or, for other lighting conditions, Wikipedia has this great little graphic.

ApertureLighting ConditionsShadow Detail
f/22Snow/SandDark with sharp edges
f/11Slight OvercastSoft around edges
f/8OvercastBarely visible
f/5.6Heavy OvercastNo shadows
f/4Open Shade/SunsetNo shadows
Add One StopBacklightingn/a