Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunny 16 Rule: Photography without light meter.

It is important that what you are shooting but how you are shooting is more important.  You have to be little tricky and intelligent when you are shooting photos. You have to think before you click. Imagine how you want this photo and set you camera that match your imagination.

Photography Rules:

There is no written rules about photography. That means you have no restrictions of how you are shooting photos. But to become a pro you should know some photography rules. You don’t have to follow all the rules all time, but those will surely guide you how to take quality photos.  Great photographers know when to break all rules to get interesting and unique photos. Some photography rules are:
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Sunny 16 Rule
  • Leading Lines
  • Fill the Frame
  • Keep Space
  • Keep Horizons Straight
sunny 16 rules photograpy

I will write about those rules soon but in this article I am going to tell only about Sunny 16 Rule.

To understand sunny 16 rule you have to understand exposure and light metering well.
I am giving you a brief about exposure and light metering.


exposure of photography
Exposure model

Proper exposure means correct ISO, aperture and shutter speed. A combination among the three factors. You have to ensure that the image is not going to be underexposed or overexposed. (Wikipedia)

Light Meter 

A light meter is a device which can measure current amount of light and can suggest you what your settings should be in present situation so that you can get perfect exposure. In photography, a light meter is often used to determine the proper exposure for a photograph. (Wikipedia)

What is Sunny 16 rule or sunny f/16 rule ? 

 Sunny 16 rule is a method of estimating correct daylight exposures without a light meter. On a bright sunny day, you should use aperture f16 and shutter speed to the reciprocal of your ISO value.
That means set your aperture to f16 and then if the ISO value is 100 then set shutter speed to 1/100 (most of the camera have 1/125 seconds).  Again keeping your aperture to f16, if you change your ISO to 200 then change shutter speed to 1/200 seconds.
A simple chart to help you.

suggested aperture for sunny 16 photgraphy
Aperture settings for different lighting conditions

***So you have to keep your aperture fixed to f-16 and then change your ISO level and shutter speed.

What to do if it is not a sunny day 

Weather condition may change any time. So what to do? Don’t worry. There is a solution for that problem as well.

***All you need to do is to keep your shutter speed and ISO level constant and simply change aperture to different lighting condition.

Photo under low light condition

Related: Low Light Photography Tips

During a Slightly overcast or Hazy condition use F-16 aperture and when the condition is overcast or raining then change the aperture to F-8. Follow the chart below to learn more:

sunny 16 diagram photography

***Important Note*** 

If you want to learn photography and become a professional photographer then online study can help you a lot. You will find numerous photography blogs and a lots of photography books online. It’s the passion which will guide you to become a professional photographer. You will find a lot of photography tutorials in YouTube. If you search for any camera model like (Canon 600D or Nikon 5200D) in YouTube search bar you will find a lot of suggestions. Pick and play anyone you like. You may think “why I am here”, when he is suggesting other websites to learn photography. You should not think like this. Because knowledge is everywhere, you should not waste any opportunity. Pick anything that you like.


  1. Sunny 16 Rule: A guide for a photographer to shoot photos in sunny condition without a light meter. Epic post. Thanks for this useful photography tips.


Photography & Tech Update:

Hello, I am Mohibullah Mamun. A photographer and a Blogger. Here to share my photography ideas, tips, tricks and update tech news with you. (Read More)

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