Photography 101: A Study In Exposure

Exposure matters. Even with the existence of cameras with automatic settings, it’s always best for photographers to handle exposure manually. By mastering exposure, the quality of an image can change for the better.

First, understanding the “exposure triangle” is crucial. Setting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will dictate how much light will be processed in capturing the image. This is where underexposure and overexposure come into play. Underexposure happens when the finished image looks dark due to lack of lighting. Meanwhile, overexposure occurs when there’s too much light.


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Now, think of aperture as a small hole within the lens that controls how much light will pass through it. F-stops measure this aspect. The lower the f-stop, the larger the opening. So, if the setting is f/4, more light will enter.

Shutter speed controls how the camera will capture movement. For example, for sporting events, photographers favor a faster shutter speed as it captures each movement without blurring. For landscapes and portraits, a slower shutter speed allows for better processing of a still image.

And lastly, there’s the ISO. This aspect can be considered the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO is more sensitive to light while a lower setting makes it less reactive to it. For the majority, a lower ISO is always better as it prevents image noise.


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These three aspects are important to create a memorable image. Mastering how to manipulate these three requires trial and error. But once a photographer gets the hang of it, he’ll be able to come up with remarkable renditions of the images he captures.

Vijaya Boggala works primarily as a medical abstract writer. He is also a sports enthusiast, arts lover, and avid landscape photographer. Get to know more about his interests by visiting this page.

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