Sunny 16.  No, that’s not a forecast for the weekend – although, I think that’s pretty darn close for this Saturday (in Celsius, that is).  Nope, this is a widely-accepted photographer’s rule for shooting in manual mode.  By the way, it’s kind of a myth that all pro photographers shoot in manual mode.  It’s an absolute must for photographers to know what all the settings are for and how to control each and every one of them, but I’d venture to guess that most photogs shoot quite a few of their shots in Aperture Priority mode with some exposure compensation thrown in on top to adjust for the scene.  Anyway…

Given that this is, after all, a photography blog I figured I’d throw in some tips for good measure.  All my photographer friends may already be aware of this, but for those of you who want to start shooting in manual mode – read on.

The Sunny 16 rule states that for any scene outdoors (during the day) with the camera set at f/16 all you need to do is set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the ISO setting.  Simply put – ISO = 100 then shutter = 1/100; ISO = 200 then shutter = 1/200 and so on.  This is the very basics of the rule and, by all means, shoot how you want to shoot and stray from this rule as needed.  But this rule will get you close if your goal is an evenly or properly exposed image during the day.

Here are my shots using the Sunny 16 rule.  I color corrected and sharpened each image using the exact same adjustments without touching the exposure or levels.  And, no this is not just the same shot posted 7 times.

ISO 100 | ƒ/16 | 1/100

ISO 100 | ƒ/16 | 1/100

ISO 200 | ƒ/16 | 1/200

ISO 200 | ƒ/16 | 1/200

ISO 400 | ƒ/16 | 1/400

ISO 400 | ƒ/16 | 1/400

ISO 800 | ƒ/16 | 1/800

ISO 800 | ƒ/16 | 1/800

ISO 1600 | ƒ/16 | 1/1600

ISO 1600 | ƒ/16 | 1/1600

ISO 3200 | ƒ/16 | 1/3200

ISO 3200 | ƒ/16 | 1/3200

ISO 6400 | ƒ/16 | 1/6400

ISO 6400 | ƒ/16 | 1/6400

Thoughts?

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