This Article is About
photo
aperture settings
shutter speed
length of time
Photo(genics) Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 2
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Lesson # 2 – How does the camera control light?

The amount of light that actually impacts the film plane or processor is controlled in three different yet totally interconnected ways.

• The length of the exposure time (shutter speed)

• The size of the pinhole (aperture)

• The sensitivity of the emulsion (film speed or ISO)

Let’s look at each of these light control mechanisms and examine how they affect light and ultimately your photos.

1. Shutter speed.

Go back to our basic light box concept. Even the most rudimentary camera had a mechanism to control the length of time that the box was open to light, even if it was just the operator’s hand over the hole. As the camera evolved, shutters were placed over the opening that could be opened for a specified period of time. No light entered the camera except when the shutter was open. Modern cameras still use this basic concept. You will see a variety of shutter speed options displayed either automatically or manually on these cameras. They are expressed as fractions of a second and look like this:

(1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30...and so on.

Do you see any relationship between these fractions?

Each fraction is approximately 1/2 the value of the previous one, or double the value, depending on which way you are going. What that tells you is that adjusting your shutter speed one click will either half or double the amount of light entering your camera. As an example:

moving from 1/125 of a second to 1/250 of a second will Half the amount of light entering the camera.

2. Aperture

I guess on the old light box, you could just make a bigger hole, but that's not very practical. Modern cameras have lenses with an adjustable iris called an aperture. The term "closing down" refers to the action of making the aperture smaller. Aperture settings appear, usually on the barrels of lenses, and look a little more confusing, until you remember we are talking about light. They appear as numbers such as 3.2, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, ...and so on.

Don't be surprised if you can't see the relationship between these numbers in the same way as with shutter speed. For those who want to fully understand this relationship, you can research the "Theory of Light" and the "Inverse Square Law".

Now I could tell you that you must understand these concepts, but the good news is, it just doesn't matter.

Just understand that those numbers are directly correlated to the intensity of reflected light and each one, as with the shutter speed, will either half or double the amount of light allowed in as you adjust the aperture.

3. ISO

This is an old standard by which the light sensitivity of film was measured. When film was widely used, most photographers chose "slower" films, or those with lower ISO numbers such as 60 or 100. These were less sensitive to light and took longer to expose but yeilded higher quality negatives. "Faster" films or higher ISO films were used for stopping action. To photograph a spinning propeller you need a very fast shutter speed. The consequence of that is less time for the light to expose the film, therefore, a highly sensitive, or high ISO film was required. These old ISO standards have carried over into the digital age and are displayed in the camera as:

100, 200, 400, 800, ....and so on.

As with film, these "speeds" are essentially indications of the light sensitivity of the digital processor. A high ISO setting means a greater capacity of the processor to recognize a lesser amount of light. As with film though, higher ISO settings produce generally lower quality images, due to the lack of light that is allowed to impact the processor.

As you can see, each one of these three mechanisms has the capacity to control light by either halving or doubling the amount of light recorded on the processor inside the camera. The beauty is that each is interchangeable with any of the others. In other words, closing down the aperture by one click and decreasing the shutter speed by one click has no effect on the amount of light entering the camera. Likewise a higher ISO setting by one click coupled with a slower shutter speed has a nil effect.

So now we know, It's all about the the light and controlling it inside the camera.

In the next lesson we will learn about using these concepts and why we want to control the light in the first place.

Happy Shooting!


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Tips For Online Dating: Online Dating Profile Tips For Your Photo
If you are looking to find your soul mate online, use these tips for your online dating profile photo to make sure that it reflects your ‘brand’. These days dating is getting more and more complex and naturally people are heading online to find their soul mate. After all we…
By: Gayle Truelove in  Relationships  >  Dating   Sep 01, 2012  
8
  Likes: 8

Photo(genics) Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 3
Now that we know "It's all about the light" and how to control that light, the next question is Why? What's the benefit of controlling light anyways?The answer lies more in understanding the light conditions you are being presented with and adapting to them by using the mechanisms we discussed…
By:  in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Nov 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Photo(genics) - Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 5
Lesson # 5 – Using external Light SourcesIn the last lesson we learned about using an extended exposure to compensate for low light as well as using it to create an added effect.In this lesson, we are going to expand on the idea of controlling light in order to accentuate…
By:  in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Nov 13, 2011  
1
  Likes: 1

Photo(genics) - Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 1
This series is a study of the very basic concepts of photography broken down into easy to understand language. My hope is to help you understand what's happening inside your camera, but more importantly, how this knowledge will improve your photos. Many of the concepts I'll cover have been misunderstood…
By:  in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Nov 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Photo(genics) - Things Your Camera Never Told You - Part 4
Bending RealityOk...We are starting to understand how light impacts our camera and things we can do to improve our photos by controlling light.Now let’s consider a couple of options to "trick" our camera into distorting reality.1. Night shooting - Timed exposure Imagine you have a beautiful city-scape at night, looking…
By:  in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Nov 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Photo Taking Tips - A Beginners Guide to Aperture Settings
If you are like the millions of other amateur photographers in the world and own a digital camera you have no doubt noticed the plethora of settings available to you and wondered what the heck do all of these settings do? I want to shed some light on one of…
By: Brad in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 01, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

A Quick Start Guide to Shooting In Manual Mode
Any aspiring photographer will eventually want to know how to use manual mode. This can be a daunting task if tackled alone. I'm here to make the transition easier for you! There are four main settings on a digital camera's manual mode: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. Each…
By: Jon Moore in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 04, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

The Triad Of Digital Photography Exposure Basics
Nothing is more vital to your photograph than exposure. Basically, exposure can be defined as the amount of light that enters your camera and imprints an image on your camera sensor. It has a heavy influence on the quality of color. For that matter, it controls whether the image is…
By: Paul7 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Feb 13, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

Types Of Wedding Photography Chester Styles
Brides and grooms to be, have to take numerous decisions when planning their wedding such as choosing the venue, hiring a band, flower arrangements, Wedding Photography Chester, etc. Couples who want to have beautiful memories should take their time to find a reputed Wedding Photography Wirral provider that offers them…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 06, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Why Hire A Professional for Wedding Photography Cheshire
A wedding is an extremely important day in one’s life and it is vital that you get your memories captured in the finest way possible on this big day. The wedding photography North West hence needs to be done by a trained professional who will be able to capture the…
By: sylver in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Wedding Photography Manchester – What You Should Do
There are many who create a lot of fuss about their wedding photography and why not? After all, the wedding photos keep the memories of the day going and one can relate the stories to their children and grandchildren and use the photos for reference. When a photographer frames the…
By: sylver in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Your Fantasy is No Far to Come In Reality
Internet has made the lives easy and comfortable by its huge service and finding own requirement anyone can rely on this technology as it is the best source to find anything in the world. Being a car lover, you can avail the preliminary requirement of your passion by internet only.…
By: Vishal Devsharma in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 31, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Advantages Of Having Social Media Wall
Most often the social media marketing is used as a tool nowadays by the companies and individual businesses. The success of social media marketing is based on the extent you involve your employees and your stake holders and visitors. There are however many benefits of having a social media wall.…
By: elle4 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 28, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Make Your Party Joyful By Photobooth
Capture the fun and celebrations of your party through the photos taken with our IBoothme photo booth. It is always a great idea to find a photo booth that can help to spice things up. It is the perfect addition to compliment any party. It can be difficult to capture…
By: elle4 in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 17, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Find the Right Picture Framer Lothian for Your Art
If you find painting quite rewarding and relaxing and you are in love with your works of art, you need to look for a good Picture Framer Lothian. In order to preserve your works of art as better as possible and hang them proudly on your walls, you need to…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Photography   May 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1721    Report this Article