What is the sunny16 rule?
The Sunny 16 Rule is a way to meter for correct exposure during daylight without using the camera’s meter. It is great for photographers who don’t want to get slowed down by metering for every shot or rely too much on their camera’s in-built light meter.
The basic rule of thumb is that if you have a bright sunny day and your aperture is at f/16, whatever ISO you are using, your shutter speed will be the number that most closely matches that ISO value.
So for example, if your ISO is 200 at f/16, then your shutter speed will be 1/200 seconds. If your ISO is 100, then your shutter speed will be 1/100 seconds.
Adjust your aperture for the light conditions using this simple chart as a guide:
Things get a little more complicated when you change your aperture setting. But essentially if you want to open up your aperture by a stop by going from f/16 to f/11, then you have to go down a stop in either your shutter speed or ISO.
So, if you have an aperture of f/16, with your ISO at 200 and your shutter speed is 1/200, and you want to instead shoot at f/11, then you would need to also go down a stop in either your shutter speed to 1/400 or your ISO to 400.
When shooting in different weather conditions you also can change your aperture while keeping ISO and shutter speed on the same settings. So instead of sunny 16, the rule becomes overcast f/8 or a heavy overcast f/5.6 as you can see in the infographic above. You can then follow the rule in exactly the same way as usual.
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