Today I show you what the AEL button does. Most modern cameras have this button but it is seldom used or known about. Just by pressing it you can lock your exposure and recompose your photograph! 

Most cameras have this written on them or have an option in the menus called AEL… what is it?

First of all I describe how the exposure system works in your camera

When you half press your shutter button, it triggers the auto exposure to kick in, if you’re in the semi automatic or the fully automatic modes, it will set the parameters that you have told it to and will continually adjust those as the frame changes in numbers of bright to dark pixels.

So as an example, I have the camera in aperture priority and as I move it up and away from the window, there are less bright pixels in the frame….so the camera will adjust the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically…if it was in shutter priority, it would automatically adjust the aperture….or if I was in auto ISO, it would adjust that if needed.

AEL stands for auto exposure lock, I have it set to the AEL button, which is a fully customisable button, but when I press this, it locks the exposure at the point just as I press it, so with it pressed, when I move the camera up, the exposure stays locked until I release it. 

So you can use this to lock on to an exposure that you like. Say if you take a shot and it’s under exposed, you can quickly point the camera at a darker area, the auto exposure system will brighten up the shot, you then press the AEL button and then bring it back to your original framing with the new locked exposure. 

And vice versa, if its too over exposed, point it at a brighter area so the auto system brings down the exposure, then press the AEL button and keep it pressed, bring it back to the framing you want and then you should have a darker exposure. 

It is basically a different way of quickly manipulating the exposure to where you want it. 

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