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Exposure "Rules": Sunny 16 & Moony 11

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vgibsonphoto is a group administrator vgibsonphoto says:

Tom Rust's moon photo sparked an interesting discussion at the July meeting. Here's an explanation for anyone not familiar with the 'Sunny 16' & 'Moony 11' Rules...

Sunny 16 Rule:
On a bright sunny day (with distinct shadows) the proper exposure is roughly the reciprocal of the ISO at f/16.

ISO 100 - f/16 - 1/100
ISO 200 - f/16 - 1/200
ISO 400 - f/16 - 1/400

Variations of the Sunny 16 Rule for different outdoor light conditions:

Slightly Overcast (soft shadows): f/11
Overcast (barely visible shadows): f/8
Heavy Overcast (no shadows): f/5.6
Sunset: f/4

Moony 11 Rule:
The Moony 11 Rule is a modification of the Sunny 16 Rule.

ISO 100 - f/11 - 1/100
ISO 200 - f/11 - 1/200
ISO 400 - f/11 - 1/400

(These are general guidelines so your mileage may vary. Personally, I've found this to be a good rule of thumb: If you're taking a photo of the full moon try using the Sunny 16 Rule. If the moon is not full try the Moony 11 Rule. -Vicki)

Variations on the Moony 11 Rule:
Full moon: f/11
Half moon: f/8
Quarter moon: f/5.6

Again, these are general guidelines. They may require some adjustment to get a properly exposed photo but they will definitely get you somewhere in the neighborhood!

Feel free to chime in on this discussion if you have any other tips on this subject!

Originally posted at 6:50AM, 13 July 2011 PDT (permalink)
vgibsonphoto edited this topic 100 months ago.

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cedarfever says:

How about the old one "f/8 and be there"? I have always wondered where that one came from.
100 months ago (permalink)

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vgibsonphoto is a group administrator vgibsonphoto says:

SJ: It's a mystery!! F/8 and be there has often been attributed to Arthur Fellig (a.k.a. Weegee) in the late 40's but the exact origin of the saying is not known.

Feliig was a press photographer during the 30s & 40s in NYC. But, his most famous photos were taken with a 4x5 Speed Graphic camera preset at f/16 @ 1/200 with flashbulbs and a set focus distance of ten feet. So, it seems unlikely he's the source of the saying.

My understanding is that "f/8 and be there" was the advice of editors to their photojournalists. The important part was to "be there" and don't worry so much about the technical stuff. (f/8 would give an enough DOF in most circumstances)
100 months ago (permalink)

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hightoneguy says:

Thank you, Vicki, for this guide. It really helps me to have these guidelines to go by. Eventually, hopefully, it will become more second nature to me and make me more ready, when a shot appears......and I don't miss the opportunity.
100 months ago (permalink)

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