- Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
- Digital Photography: Mastering Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure
- Bryan Peterson's Exposure Solutions: The Most Common Photography Problems and How to Solve Them
Every once in a while we like to look back at the very basics of photography. We realize that every day, someone picks up a camera and is determined to start a new adventure in the fascinating world that is photography. And each newcomer to photography needs to know the basics of how cameras work and how photography is created.
At the very core of photography is an understanding of exposure. Without the right exposure, you really can't go any further. Fortunately, today's cameras offer full automatic exposure as a standard feature, but if you ever want to become a serious amateur or a pro, there is no way around mastering exposure.
There are three important settings that influence the way light is exposed onto the sensor of your camera: shutter speed, aperture and ISO. I'm sure you are familiar with the terms, or you've at least heard of them before without going deeper into what they do.
Think of the shutter as your eye lid because it essentially does the same thing. It allows light to enter the camera by opening and closing. The speed at which it opens and closes determines the amount of light that goes into the camera's dark room. A short shutter speed is a like a blink of an eye. Technically however it's a lot quicker because the entire movement can happen in 1/8000th of a second.
(Sucess Tip1: Shoot people and get paid.)
A longer shutter speed will allow more light onto the sensor, which is something you want at night or in low light conditions.
The aperture works pretty much like the iris in your eye. It is round shaped and it is built into your lens. It is actually the first element met by light on its way to your sensor. By closing or opening, the aperture will influence the amount of light traveling through the lens, but it will also affect things like depth of field and image sharpness.
The ISO speed represents the sensitivity of the sensor to light. Back in the days of film photography, if you wanted to change ISO, you had to change the film. Now, all you have to do is select an option from a menu. To understand the basics of ISO, a low value of 100 or 200 represents a low sensitivity to light and it should be used in good lighting conditions such as midday outside in summer.
A high ISO value that could range from 1600 to 25,600 should be used in low light conditions, but one thing that should be noted is that higher ISO values will add noise to your images.
The balance between these three settings is the key to a correct exposure. It's no rocket science and after you figure out how everything works, all you need is to practice.
(Success Tip #2: Learn better exposure technique with this simple deck of cards.)
CamCrunch has a video where all three settings are explained in detailed. Check it out, grab a camera and go shooting!