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shutter speed
iso settings
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The Triad Of Digital Photography Exposure Basics
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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 even visible! The right amount of light will give you a clear image with good color. The wrong amount of light will give you a bad image. Digital photography exposure basics involve using three functions of your camera to control the amount of light impressing your sensor.

The first way is to adjust the light sensitivity of the sensor in your camera. Light sensitivity is measured by a scale called ISO; the International Organization for Standardization. One thing to be aware of is that high ISO settings will dirty the image with noise.

Another way is with aperture. Aperture is the size of the opening through which light enters the camera, and it can easily be opened wider or made smaller. There is a trade off here as well. The wider the aperture, the less the field of depth, or area of sharpness, is.

Finally, there is the shutter speed. The faster the shutter fires, the less the image will be exposed. The trade off with shutter speed is that the slower the shutter moves, the more opportunity will exist for the image to be blurred by motion. This particularly becomes an issue with longer lenses. A tripod can be helpful for preventing unwanted blur.

As you can see, each of these methods of controlling exposure has their trade-offs, so it is a good idea to learn how to use them in harmony in order to compensate for the weaknesses that each has. For example, you might use a higher ISO setting in order to be able to increase the shutter speed while maintaining a field of depth. There also may be a situation in which you will want to slow the shutter speed so that you can close off the aperture and increase the field of depth.

It is also possible to turn those weaknesses into strengths. If you learn to apply these principles creatively, you can create works that are unique.

Those are the basics about controlling exposure. There is still plenty to learn on the subject. But the core basics that have been explained here are the most important to understand. It is a good idea to continue learning, but be sure to take the time to practice and develop in the basics.


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