The photographer’s dozen
There are only 12 key exposure situations, and only six that need more careful consideration
As already mentioned in the introduction, the reason there are any exposure issues at all is that even the best, most sensitive Even more than in the three ‘Just Fits’ scenarios opposite, where there is a full range of tones, you can – and should – choose how bright or dark to render your scene when the range of tones fits well the range of your Nikon’s sensor. Again, the decision really comes down to whether you want the overall exposure to be mostly mid-toned, bright (high-key) or dark (low-key). sensors have limitations in the range of tones that they can capture, from the deepest shadows to the very brightest highlights. Sometimes When the range of brightness in the scene you’ve framed is greater than the camera’s sensor is able to record, this is when something has to give and you need to take special care in thinking about the exposure. In cases like this, the subject, rather than the background, usually provides the key tone. your sensor simply won’t be able to capture everything in the scene you’re trying to photograph. Here are the three groups of exposure In lighting situations like those shown here, in bright (but not harsh) sunlight,
the dynamic range of the scene more or less matches that of the sensor, and there should be no problems achieving a good exposure. It still, though, means deciding whether you want the overall exposure to be midtoned, bright or dark. With dark subjects against very light backgrounds, the key tone is typically (though not necessarily) provided by the lighter background. Exposing for this key tone keeps colour in the background, while rendering the
subject as a graphic silhouette.