Sunny 16

Just a short entry to break a long hiatus from the blog (I still have to finish the fieldwork series!).

I was forwarded a paper on Photogrammetry which briefly mentioned the Sunny 16 rule, which I hadn’t come across before. This isn’t altogether surprising to me, as I don’t move very much within the digital photographic community. However having recently picked up an a7, I’m moving more that way now, and appreciate how difficult it can be to get settings correct to capture an image.

The rule of thumb that Sunny 16 tells us is that on a well lit day, if you set your aperture to f/16, the ISO to a number (say, 200) and the shutter speed to the reciprocal of that number (1/200 s, in this case), you should produce a well-exposed image. I found this useful as a starting point as it can function as an intuitive benchmark for planning settings for a variety of different conditions/scales.

However, my supervisor pointed out it’s probably not as important as the photo-journalists number one rule of thumb: f/8 and be there!


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