Thursday, January 17, 2013


Greetings and welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Wow, a long has passed since our last post! Hohenfels has been in the grip of a dark and dreary winter. The warmth of the holidays and time with loved ones speeds the passing of winter, although not nearly enough.

Today we’re going to discuss the possibilities of making a quick cheat sheet for our camera bag.

Our cheat sheet won’t have everything to make us better photographers, that’s the job of the individual, but it will make a handy reference for quick calculations in the field. We’re just sharing some common knowledge and quick facts to tuck away for when you’re out shooting.

The first thing to remember is the “Sunny 16” rule. This simply states that in full sunlight, on a clear bright day, with an average brightness, set your aperture to f/16, and your shutter speed to 1/film speed. You’ll almost nail most of the time. For instance, at ISO 100, shooting at f/16, you should be shooting at 1/100 second.

This can be extrapolated to the following combinations, based on lighting:
f/11 at 1/ISO for hazy sunlight with soft shadows,
f/8 at 1/ISO for cloudy bright conditions, without shadows and an obscure sun, and
f/5.6 at 1/ISO for dull and cloudy, dark skies and no sun.

These values pertain to daytime shooting only, and will get you in the right place for most situations. If you’re shooting in open shade, open your aperture 2-4 stops, depending on your subject brightness. This may mean shooting at slower speeds, so keep that in mind.

Another useful bit for you deals with motion. First, subjects at a distance will allow slower speeds. Second, direction of motion and speed of motion are important factors in shutter speed, as well. A subject moving directly toward or away from the camera allows a slower shutter speed. With a direction of motion at 45 degrees to the camera, you will usually shoot at double the head on speed, and at 90 degrees direction, at 4 times quicker.

For subjects moving directly toward or away, shutter speeds of up 1/25 allow for good images, at speeds of 5-10 MPH and distances at 100 feet or more. The same subject at 25 feet, doing 60 MPH at 25 feet requires 1/400 or faster. At 90 degrees, 100 feet, doing 5 MPH requires 1/400 shutter. Keep these in mind when out shooting action or motion, and you can generally get better shots.

Of course, the above information is in no way complete, or 100% accurate, but it does provide some general guidelines. Keep these couple tidbits in mind, and you can dial in your exposure manually and get the levels, and therefore, the image, you desire. Little bits of knowledge add up, and when put together, can make you one of the photographers who can make your shots match your vision.

I hope that everyone will try to out together their own cheat sheet, make the shot, and share it with us on our Hohenfels Volks Faceboook page.

Is there anything you’d like to see here? Do you have a question? Share your thoughts here or at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

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