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AE lock - metering a backlit photo

Have you ever wondered when taking a photo outdoor and your subject is backlit, they appear under exposed? This is because your camera is metering exposure from the whole scene. The button on your camera with the star (*) or marked AE is the auto exposure lock and it might be very useful in high contract conditions or if your subject is surrounded by different light.

So what needs to be done in such conditions?

  1. Zoom in or walk towards your subject so that it fills the frame and press the AE lock button to lock the exposure. 
  2. Zoom out or step backward to re-compose the shot. 
  3. While still holding that AE lock button, take the picture. 
ae lock.png

The below examples are a sample of a shoot with the AE lock off and on (curtosy of http://www.behindtheshoots.net )

Without AE lock

Without AE lock

With AE lock

With AE lock