Assignment 7: Creative Exposure

One of the first decisions a photographer makes before he takes a photograph is what exposure to use.  There is no wrong answer as long as the photo is not over or underexposed.  You can select a small aperture to keep everything in focus in the frame from front to back or shoot wide open with the large aperture for a selective focus photograph.  Maybe you want to show movement by using a slow shutter speed or freeze the action with a fast one. It is all up to how you want to create the photo.

For Assignment 7, I am looking for photographs where you use a creative exposure and explain why you decided on the exposure settings used. Here’s an article I highly recommend you read: Finding the Right Creative Exposure (if you click on the link you’ll see why I do. :)).  It will give you some more ideas about what a creative exposure is.

Those of you with Point & Shoot type of cameras, this would be a good time to review the different Scene selections which give creative exposures like Landscape, Sports, Night, Fireworks and others.

An example of a Creative Exposure: I choose a slower shutter speed of 1/15th of a second to blur the incoming metro train in Washington, D.C.

An example of a Creative Exposure: I choose a slower shutter speed of 1/15th of a second to blur the incoming metro train in Washington, D.C.

As in the other assignments, do not send me your photos. What I would like you to do is post them on your blog, flickr or other photo sharing site, personal website or any other place on the Internet where you can place a link to it here by making a comment to this blog entry. Then we can visit those sites and learn about making Creative Exposure photographs.

Please, have your photos posted on or before Midnight (your time), Wednesday, May 26, 2010. Don’t have a place to post? Might be a good time to start up a blog or join a photo community like flickr.  As I have done for all the Assignments, I’ll put together a recap with my comments.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will be happy to answer them. By the way, I would really appreciate it if you would help spread the word about this assignment so we can get lots of people to participate. Thank you!

Click Here to Order Understanding Exposure by Bryan PetersonUnderstanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs

For my May photography book, I am re-reading one of the best all time books on photography.  Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure which explains the exposure triangle of Aperture-Shutter Speed-ISO and how to correctly expose for many types of situations a photographer may encounter.  Throughout the book there are references to using exposure creativitly and makes a very good companion to this month’s assignment on Creative Exposure.  I do suggest if you read this book, to have your camera and its manual next to you.  It helped me tremendously as I would read a technique,  set my camera for the same technique and take a few sample photos to help me understand it.  This is a book I re-read once a year to remind myself of the basics of photography.  Without a good understanding of the basics, many new photographers will become frustrated.  I would not want that to happen to any of you!

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50 Responses to Assignment 7: Creative Exposure

  1. Very nicely done… The movement in the train really adds some extra interest…


  2. Troo says:

    That’s a great effect! Although I own and have read the frankly excellent Understanding Exposure, I rarely experiment enough to get anywhere other than the f/5 region. I hate carrying a tripod around, and have very shaky hands.

    But I accept your challenge! I shall nip out this weekend and see what I can do!


  3. Anna Surface says:

    I truly like your metro train photo. Yes, indeed about creative exposure. I’ve been experimenting with exposure as in shutter, aperture and ISO lately while using the tripod. I’m very interested in Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure and I’ve bookmarked that into my file for photography books to get and read. 🙂 The list is growing! I’ll read the article when I have time. Great assignment, I’ll see what I can come up with…. I have an idea… 🙂


  4. Mitch says:

    Now that’s a cool shot! It’s almost like you can see through the train, which of course you can’t.


  5. Gerry says:

    OK, I’m in. I’m going to make progress, or at the very least write a heckuva good story about my failure.


  6. milkayphoto says:

    Another great assignment, Scott! I’ve never really looked at it this way as it isn’t often I am shooting something that is moving.

    How lucky that the figure above didn’t move at all during the slow exposure. Very cool effect!


  7. Pingback: St. Photo and a question of exposure « Torch Lake Views

    • Normally, I don’t post Linkbacks to these assignments but, in this case, I had to make an exception. Gerry, let me know if you need any help!


      • Gerry says:

        I always need help, Scott. Quantities of it. Right now, for example, the Cowboy has crept into the laundry basket where my nice clean sweatshirts were neatly folded and has made himself a cozy nest. Maybe I’ll capture the little miscreant with an artistic exposure. Buried deeply in the menus on my camera I have discovered Cloudy Day. Imagine the electric effect on a Michiganian!


  8. kanniduba says:

    YAY!!!!!! 🙂

    I owe that book, and the author himself, much gratitude for helping me cross the great divide between “clueless snapshooter” and “amateur photographer.” 🙂 Will help spread the word on my end. 🙂
    (And by the way, I’m likin’ the green.)


  9. Nye says:

    That is an excellent shot Scott. It looks like I’ve some serious reading to do. 🙂


  10. Cool Shot Scott and I have the same book as well. I think I’ll have to read it all over again. I did enjoy the book very much


  11. Pingback: More on Creative Exposures « Views Infinitum

  12. Carsten says:

    Thanks for making these assignments Scott. Each one challenges a new dimension of photography.
    I like your image with the moving train and the frozen man with the bike.
    I thought I saw the ceiling before. It looks very much like this 1900 years old building:

    You can see my contribution here:


    • Very interesting, Carsten. The Pantheon-like ceilings are found throughout the Washington, DC metro stations. The designers must have liked it.

      Your assignment photo was well done. I like the execution, lighting and motion blur. Sort of like an old horror movie.


  13. Anna Surface says:

    I have Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure on request at the library and I’m awaiting to get it to read. This assignment was one I dug into to learn and experiment more, and I enjoyed being creative with exposure.

    Here is my contribution to Creative Exposure:


  14. Kathy says:

    Hi Scott! I just finished posting your assignment.
    Don’t get too excited about stunning photographs, though. I got kind of obsessed with Jack in the pulpits and posted seven photos explaining the most miniscule differences you can imagine. But, boy, was it fun!! Thanks again for the great assignment…


  15. Hi Scott,

    here is my reply to the creative exposure tribute!

    Creative Exposure Part 1

    Fire and water, i like them both 😉


  16. june says:

    Awesome, I am inspired, will come back with a link when I’ve posted on this, but really enjoyed this post.


  17. Karma says:

    I did it! And I’m very happy I did! Thanks for the assignment Scott!


  18. I posted my submission for this assignment today.

    Track Exposure


  19. truels says:

    Well, this time I had a little problem: I had too many ideas: The inspiration was (too?) great for this assignment. So I had to make 3 posts for Assignment 7 – I hope it’s OK.
    Thanks a lot for your great inspiration!
    Here they are:
    and finally:
    I can’t wait to see all the contributions from your many readers 🙂


  20. giiid says:

    Hi Scott. This was realy difficult, because I am used to take photos quite impulsive. Making a plan for the exposure was new to me, but very good to try. I haven´t had time for writing about the photos yet, I have 2 minutes to deadline. That is how I work best… 🙂
    Thank you for making this.


  21. mozemoua says:

    Hello Scott,
    I am a first timer on here and hope I am not late. Thanks to Nye Noona for pointing out this assignment to me. I enjoyed this assignment a lot!

    Here is my submission.


  22. Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) says:

    Hi everybody – here’s my take. Thanks for helping me learn more about my own camera! I’m traveling this week and I might not have time to go back and check out everyone else’s work just yet, but I am looking forward to it.


  23. chroniclecantrell says:

    Wow, your “Track Exposure” really turned out awesome!!! Here is my link.


  24. What a flurry of submissions! Thank you all! I’ll be looking them over this weekend and will post my recap next Wednesday.

    The next assignment will be in announced in July BUT I will be giving you a heads up on what it is with this assignment’s recap. Think of it as a summer project (hint!). Oh, if you are traveling this weekend, take lots of photographs (another hint!).


  25. Pingback: Assignment 7: Recap « Views Infinitum

  26. Pingback: Doing a Little Sharing | Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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