Today I Learned...
- Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the camera's sensor. It's controlled by three settings: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
- Exposure is one of the most important aspects of photography, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.
- Take the time to understand what each setting does on your camera and how it affects your photos.
xposure is one of the most important aspects of photography, but it can be difficult to understand.
In this article, I'll explain what exposure is and exactly how it works in terms of light, using real-world examples. We'll also talk about some common mistakes that photographers make when they don't fully understand exposure—and how you can avoid them.
So, What Is Exposure in Photography?
Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the camera's sensor. It's controlled by three settings: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Aperture controls how much of your image will be in focus, while shutter speed controls how long your image remains in focus. ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light—the higher the number you choose for it (200, 400 etc.), the more sensitive it'll be to dimly lit scenes.
The Effects of Overexposure and Underexposure.
When you’re photographing a subject, you have the option of either overexposing or underexposing your image. You can also do both at once!
But how do you know if your photo is over- or underexposed?
In short: if the image is too bright and washed out, it’s overexposed. If the image is too dark and barely visible, it’s underexposed.
Aperture is the opening in the lens that controls how much light enters your camera. Aperture is measured in f-stops and written as f/2.8, for example, where “f” stands for “focal length” and “2.8″ denotes a small aperture (or opening). Smaller f-stop numbers mean a larger aperture.
As you increase your f-stop from 2 to 4 to 8 etc., you make more of your lens' surface area open up to let in light thus making it easier for you to achieve an appropriate exposure level when photographing at night or indoors without needing any additional equipment like lights or flash units which might cause unnatural looking shadows on people's faces if used incorrectly during portrait sessions involving flash photography.
Understanding Shutter Speed.
Shutter speed is the time for which the camera’s shutter remains open. It can be thought of as a fraction of a second, or “f-stop”. In photography terms, shutter speed refers to how long your camera's sensor is exposed to light hitting it when you press the shutter button on your camera.
As a general rule of thumb: The slower your sensor is exposed to light during an image capture (i.e., the longer that shutter stays open), will result in more blur from fast-moving objects in your photos because these moving objects will appear more blurry than if they were captured with a faster shutter speed (i.e., shorter time for which sensor was exposed).
Using a Manual Mode to Control Exposure.
Manual mode is the most direct way to control your camera's exposure settings.
The first thing you'll probably notice about manual mode is that your camera will no longer adjust shutter speed automatically, so it's up to you to change it as needed. If the light conditions are changing rapidly, this can be a little tricky—but if you're trying to capture an image of something moving quickly (a waterfall or race car), this may be exactly what you need!
Manual mode also allows you more flexibility in adjusting aperture and ISO settings. By changing either of these settings while keeping shutter speed constant, you can get some really cool effects that would be harder (or impossible) using other modes like Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.
Why You Should Choose Your Exposure Settings Manually.
When you shoot in manual mode, the only thing that's changing is the exposure. You'll be able to control your depth of field, shutter speed and aperture manually. This means that you have full control over your image—and can use these three things to achieve a wide range of effects. You can choose what sort of mood or feeling you want to convey with an image by adjusting its settings; for example, if you want something dreamy and hazy, set your camera on a long shutter speed (1/125th or 1/250th) and open up the lens as much as possible (f/1.4).
If your subject is moving quickly through space and time—like clouds blowing across the sky at sunset—you'll get more interesting results by shooting on a high-speed burst setting like 1/8000th second instead of focusing solely on getting everything perfectly sharp.
The exposure settings you choose can make or break a photograph, so take the time to understand them.
Exposure is one of the most important aspects of photography, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood. You should always take time to understand what each setting does and how it affects your photos; this way, you can make sure your pictures come out looking great!
It may seem overwhelming at first—there are tons of settings to choose from on any DSLR camera—but once you get familiar with them all, it will become second nature and you'll be able to get great results every time.