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#6 - Autoexposure Lock

(AEL)

You can use the autoexposure lock to lock in an exposure setting.

Look for the AEL button (Nikon and other camera) or the star button (Canon).

Here are some examples of using the autoexposure lock.

Recreate the examples to learn more about using the autoexposure lock button.

Example #1

If you're at the Grand Canyon, point your camera down at the canyon.

Press and hold the autoexposure lock button.

The exposure is now set for the canyon, and not the bright sky.

With the autoexposure lock button still depressed, point your camera at the sky and canyon, and press the shutter release.

Example #2

Let's say you're photographing some friends standing on the edge of the canyon, with a bright sky behind them.

If you don't use the autoexposure lock button, the camera may set the exposure for the bright sky.

Your friends will be in silhouette against the sky.

Instead, walk up to your friends, and fill the frame with their faces.

Press and hold the autoexposure lock button.

The exposure is now set for your friend, not the sky.

While keeping the autoexposure lock depressed, walk back and focus, and press the shutter release.

Spot Metering

You can set your light meter to see only a tiny area in the middle of the frame.

This is called spot metering.

In example #2 above, you could measure the light on your friend's faces without having to walk up close.

Just set your light meter to spot metering, center a friend's face in the middle of the frame, and press and hold the autoexposure lock button.

The exposure is now set for the face.

Look in the camera instruction manual to learn how to switch to spot metering.