How to get perfect exposure settings

Follow this Rule for Perfect Exposure Every Time

Get Great Exposure Every Time

How to Get Perfect Exposure Settings for Photography

What are the correct or perfect exposure settings? If you ask a room full of photographers, you will probably get a different answer from each one! Most of the time a correct-sounding exposure is more average or mediocre starting point.

So how do you set the exposure to make your photos amazing, and not just average?

In this video tutorial, Alex Kilbee teaches the techniques to set your exposure correctly in different situations.

One Exposure Rule For The Best Photos

Sure, you can easily choose auto exposure on your camera settings and let the technology do all the heavy lifting. 

But if you want to take your photography to the next level, try setting it manually or adjusting the exposure for each photo using these steps.

Firstly, What is Exposure?

Exposure in photography is an important camera setting that affects what the light is doing in the photo. It’s the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensor, and it affects how bright or dark the image will appear.

However, exposure is not the sole setting for affecting light, as three other settings change and affect the exposure, which are Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed.

Because there are many elements affecting the light, there are many variations of great brightness settings for each photo.

There is a wide range of settings between these elements that can be adjusted and tweaked to get the right balance.

Within this complication of settings though, exposure is one of the most important elements that you will want to understand how to use correctly. It will help you get the right brightness in your photos each time.

Perfect exposure is all about your eye and experience


Perfect Exposure Settings Step 1: Get Base Exposure

It’s important to know a good base exposure, and you can use a light meter to tell you a good range to set the exposure based on the light. 

A light exposure meter measures the amount of light on a subject or in a scene and indicates what a good exposure range would be.

Your camera can also set this for you in auto exposure, or choosing an Aperture or Shutter Speed priority setting depending on the setting. These elements will be prioritized when the camera senses light and takes the photo if you set to one of those.

Get base exposure to start with


Perfect Exposure Settings Step 2: Adjust to the Perfect Exposure

Your base exposure might be fine for taking average photos. The light exposure meter usually gives you a good range to be in. And the auto exposure will do something similar. 

However, there might be an opportunity to slightly adjust one of the exposure settings to really enhance the photo.

Once you have your base exposure set, you can play around with adjusting the exposure settings to see if they need to be more or less. Once you have done this many times, you will start to be able to tell just by looking at a test shot what needs to change. 

Like maybe the Aperture should be a little wider. Or the photo would be better exposed if the shutter speed was turned down slightly. Or even that slightly under-exposing would make for a more interesting photo, like at nighttime.

These little adjustments to the base settings will maximize the light and take the best photos.

The trick is to start in a good exposure range, and then adjust to the perfect exposure settings.

Adjust the exposure from the base

There are No Universal Perfect Exposure Settings, Only Your Eye for Adjusting Based on Your Scene

It depends on the situation you are in, the lighting and other elements. 

But you can get your version of perfect exposure in each setting by following the base and adjusting from there. And with experience and practice over time, you will be able to see what the perfect exposure is for any situation you are in.

Want to improve your photography? Check out this comprehensive guide.

Which of these perfect exposure settings steps will you apply to your photography TODAY?

Comment below!