Considering all consideration

Hi everyone,

The weather has been quite in cooperative lately, so maybe instead of complaining about it, I thought maybe I should share with you a habit of mine, which I built for photography purposes and has been really helpful to me especially  when I am on the street.

It all depends on the type of lens that is attached to my camera on that time or specifically what kind of photo I would probably get with that lens. For example, if I have on my camera an 80-200 mm with F2.8 aperture on broad daylight, I would gladly put my ISO between 400-800 to make sure that I would always get the speed that would freeze my subject as well as take care of my handshake when I shoot at maximum of 200mm (heavy & non-VR lens).

Technical explanation for this shot.

For this candid shot, my setting was at ISO 500 on Aperture priority mode at F2.8. the reason why I picked this aperture is because the place was a bit busy and the background is crowded. Plus I was only aiming to get shots of people’s faces on that day. I know the fact that at f2.8, I can ensure myself a cleaner background and throw away any distraction in front of my focus point.

As for metering, my camera was set at center weighted however at the distance that I have between me and the subject, the bright background of my subject (60% more brighter than my subject) would trick my camera’s sensor if I choose center weighted metering. Maybe if I put my camera reading at spot metering the lights reading my camera auto judgement would have been more accurate.

Since I know my camera will be tricked, I locked the exposure that I targeted on the sumandak’s face because at this distance, the camera will be more interested with the bright background and ignore the lights on the lady’s face, regardless of the fact that  she is beautiful. Therefore I changed my camera’s interest by compensating it to +1.7 on fly and as a result I get what I had in mind. There are two things that I am well aware of when I took this photo, first – my background will be overexposed and second I am positive that i will be cropping the photo during post processing…and all these consideration and decision was made within a split second. This was the only shots of this sumandak which had a clean background, the next few shots were filled with a lot of other distractions.

This however is not a case of expertise but mainly about understanding and lots and lots of practice.


Cropping is mainly done to make sure you will have a better compo and to throw away distractions from your photo or sometimes to straighten the horizontal line. Especially for landscape shots, a photo with a straight horizon will be much more appealing to our viewers unless you have a good reason to originally tilt the photo. Personally I would much prefer to crop my photo before I even press the shutter since cropping obviously will make you lose mega-pixel value.

I know that I am going to crop the photo later during post processing because of these three reasons first – the busy condition of the place, second – the distance that I have between me and the subject (even after I put my lens on 200mm) and third – my 80-200 mm is unfortunately infected with fungus along the side of the lens so I placed the lady’s face right in the middle of the frame  to avoid her face from being blurred by my lens condition.

Lastly, during cropping I made sure that I cropped the photo according to original photo ratio or sensor size ratio. This is important especially for printing purposes. However this is not a fixed rule, for it all depends on your own ka’ngam’an (preference).

Note: Photo exposure as direct from camera.

I guess that’s all for now my friends, until next time…

About lano lan

A freelance photographer with 5 years experience in photography. Familiar with local culture in Malaysia and has vast experience in capturing moments in any local event particularly in Sabah. As a full time photographer, I am also familiar and able to take advantage of the local climate condition. In other words, rain or shine, there is always a chance of capturing lights in action.
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