Stop Shooting Auto! is an online class for beginning photographers, especially those who want to learn how to control their own exposure.
I started this blog after I discovered that several of my coworkers had expensive dSLRs, and they always kept them set to fully automatic mode. They would ask me how I took specific pictures, and when I explained their eyes would glaze over and they’d say something like, “I want to learn about apertures and f-stops and stuff.”
I taught a class in the office one evening to explain the fundamentals of exposure, and how different settings affected the resulting photos. The class was about 45 minutes of me blathering like an idiot, followed by about an hour of guided exercises so that people could try things out for themselves. It was a rousing success.
This blog is a direct result of that class. My original intention was to jot down a summary of the class so that people could come back to it, but I quickly realized that it could be a good tutorial for other beginning photographers. My goal is to explain the basics of exposure in terms that the average great dane could understand, complete with lots of examples and exercises that you can do at home.
The best way to read this blog is in oldest-to-newest order. I have therefore provided a list of the major lessons in order on the right side of the page.
All of the images used in this blog are available in a photo set on Flickr. Please feel free to look at the details, download the full-size images, or use them for any other noncommercial purpose.