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Taken at 1/320 second at f/2.5, ISO 400 with a EF50mm f/1.2L USM @ 50 mm

So, are you joining Rick SammonJuan PonsSmugmug and me in Times Square this Saturday for Rick Sammon’s Times Square Shooting Session? If not, you should be! It is free and, best of all, fun.

I’ll be posting images from Times Square this week along with assorted, miscellaneous and random tips as I see fit! For more information about shooting in Times Square and all over NYC, check out my book Photographing New York City on Amazon or in bookstores.

If you are visiting Times Square with your camera, the lights, colors and billboards are probably high on your list of “things to shoot.” Remember to protect your highlights, expose to the right but don’t overexpose! Once those highlights are clipped, they are gone forever in digital. Try using the spot metering functionality of your camera and meter right on the lights/signs in order to get a good exposure. Use the exposure compensation functionality to meter (probably set to +1 to +1 1/2) when metering on a bright light in spot meter mode, then use exposure locking to lock the right settings. Check your camera’s manual for how to use these settings on your camera.

Alternatively you can find a good exposure with manual mode, your built in meter or even trial and error! (Ahh the beauty of instant previews). However, the lights in the area change so often and so fast that manual mode can mean you spend more time chasing the right settings than getting the image. A good exposure compensation value, spot metering and recompose will get you shooting fast, letting your camera do the majority of the work.

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Taken at 1/40 second at f/4, ISO 1600 with a EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 28 mm

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Taken at 1/400 second at f/3.2, ISO 640 with a EF50mm f/1.2L USM @ 50 mm