Lesson 3 – Snowman exposure

Lesson 3 – Snowman exposure

camera basics and understanding exposure
lesson/module/challenge 3

(Try again!) This was a great challenge to really see how the settings affect the same image. I used my daughter’s little melting snowman as the model for playing with exposure. Since I was doing this inside I started with a little bit higher ISO than suggested in the challenge. Image 1 is f/1.4 ISO 280 1/30, I think the exposure is Ok and you can really see how tight the focusing is at such a wide aperture. Image 2 is f/8 ISO 1600 1/30 and is obviously underexposed.
One thing that confused me slightly was that I was setting the ISO manually on my camera and it was telling me that the reading was, say, 200, but when I downloaded the photo the info there tells me it was 280 or 320 etc. I’m not sure why this is?? Is my camera trying to outsmart me again?

CBC3-1 CBC3-2

I live in the beautiful hills of Perth with my husband and three year old daughter. I have degrees in history and law but am staying home for a few years to raise my gorgeous little girl. I love creative pursuits, be it creative play with my three year old, sewing, or my new passion - photography. I've owned a DSLR for about 6 years but have only just started to really explore it's capabilities (and mine!).


  1. Nice work Siobhan. Great example of the exposure triangle at work. Cute snowman too.
    The exposure is good on the first one and I like the depth of field from the large aperture.
    I’m really not sure about the ISO changing. I’ve never seen that before. Keep an eye on it and let me know if it keeps happening.

  2. I couldn’t help myself, I went and checked out your camera manual (I keep copies of most of them for my workshops).
    Check your custom function #10 (from the menu). It looks like you can set your ISO to automatically change when you’re in A or S modes. Make sure ISO Auto is “Off”. I don’t know Nikons as well as Canons but from scanning the manual it looks like if you have this set to “On” it will override the ISO you have set.
    This might not be the problem but it’s worth checking.

  3. Thank you Robyn – feeling pretty stoopid for not thinking to check the manual (which is right in front of me). That explains why I get different ISO readings when I have set it already. It seems to only change it within a small range, but even that can make quite a difference sometimes.
    Loving the depth of field from my lovely new nifty fifty 🙂

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