Day 14 — Sunny f/16 Rule

When Kodak was king of photography, it offered a formula known as the Sunny f/16 Rule to help photographers know what settings to use when taking photos outdoors in bright sun. That rule says that on sunny days, when shooting subjects facing the sun, set the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to correspond to the film speed (ISO); e.g., if your film speed is 100, set your shutter speed to 1/100. That’s an easy rule…if you know the rule. Today I remembered only part of the rule. So, my results are less than spectacular. But I learned something today. “Know the rules before you start.”

Today was bright and sunny and I was in Newcastle. When I got out of my car I looked west and could see I-80 beneath me and Sacramento’s smog-shrouded skyline in the distance. Ah, I thought, “A photo opportunity and the sunny f/16 rule applies.” Well, I realized when I got home that the part of the rule I forgot was the part where the subject is supposed to be lit by the sun. I was facing west, which of course meant that I was looking almost directly into the 4:00 afternoon sun so the sun was in front of me, not behind me. I did move slightly to the left so I wasn’t looking into the sun but I didn’t have my lens hood attached and there’s lens flare on the right side of the photo. Photography is indeed challenging me. I hope to use this rule correctly in a future post.

This is the photo as it came out of the camera, no tweaking in Aperture.

18-200mm lens at 200mm
ISO 100
f/16
1/100