But did you know that rule also corresponds to every other lighting scenario you might find outdoors? Here’s a handy guide to this, the Sunny F/16 Rule, that tells you what aperture to switch to as lighting situations change—from the brightest sunlight to the deepest dusk. In every case, the corresponding shutter speed will remain 1/ISO.
Bright Sun, Snow or Sand = ƒ/22
Normal Sunny Day = ƒ/16
Hazy/Lightly Cloudy = ƒ/11
Cloudy = ƒ/8
Overcast = ƒ/5.6
Sunset/Shade = ƒ/4
Dusk = ƒ/2.8
Part of the process of becoming a better photographer is taking control of your camera and its controls. Use this guide to know where to start dialing in manual exposures in any outdoor lighting situation. It will give you confidence and help you feel like you’re a master of manual exposure.
This technique has the added benefit of making you stop and think. With your camera on auto exposure, you may not be thinking very much about your shot. But, on manual, as you’re considering the exposure, you may find yourself thinking about composition and creative elements as well. Any technique that gets you to slow down a bit and think about your picture taking is okay by me, and will result in better images.