When to Use AE Lock on Digital Cameras

If you are new to digital cameras or are seeking to learn how to use your current camera to its full potential, learning to use the AE Lock feature will take you to the next level of digital photography. AE Lock, which stands for "auto exposure lock," works by temporarily freezing the exposure settings at a point of your choosing. After the AE Lock is pressed, all subsequent photos will maintain the same white balance and contrast until you deselect AE Lock. There are a number of situations where your photography will benefit from using AE Lock, which will be discussed below.

Panoramic Photography

First and foremost, the most common use of the AE Lock feature is when you take a panoramic photograph with the stitch assist function found on many digital cameras. In order to properly connect the photos together into one large picture, the camera must lock the exposure settings in between pictures so that they can be merged later. When using the panoramic setting, AE Lock is automatically selected. It is possible to select this feature manually, however.

Selected Focus

Another time when AE Lock is useful is if you would like to expose the background of a photo first before placing an object or person in the foreground. To do this, you would press AE Lock on the camera before positioning your subject in the foreground. AE Lock may also be useful if you are taking a series of photographs and want to have the same effect displayed throughout the series.

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