Understanding the Exposure Triangle

Before any person learning photography can improve their photography, they must first understand the "Exposure Triangle". 
The exposure triangle is made up of three important settings.

Aperture (this is the opening in your lens that allows light to come through to hit the sensor, thus creating an image).
The smaller the number (e.g. f2.8), the bigger the hole in the middle and therefore the more light is allowed into the camera. Therefore a setting of f2.8 lets more light into the lens than f11.

Shutter Speed- This is the amount of time that we keep the shutter open. Along with the size of the hole in the lens (aperture) this also allows us to control how much light is allowed to hit the camera’s sensor.

ISO- This setting is the sensitivity of the cameras sensor to light. By adjusting this we can make the sensor more sensitive to light.

***Please note: There will be a more in-depth post about each one of these settings starting April 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Please check back tomorrow for the first posting of the series!***

By using these three settings to your advantage, you will get images that will no longer resemble snapshots, but that will resemble images that were taken by someone who has knowledge of photography.

So to summarize this up for you!

Aperture: Small f number = big hole in lens  = more light into the camera (makes a brighter photo)
Shutter Speed: Slower shutter speed = more light into the camera (makes photo brighter)
ISO: Higher number = more sensitivity to light (makes the photo brighter, but possibly grainy/noisy)

Let me give you an example...

Camera Settings:
ISO: 320
Aperture: 2.0
Shutter Speed: 1/320th Sec
Lens: Canon 85mm 1.8
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Flash: None

So why did I use these settings?
This image was taken in a wooded area. My subject was in a shady spot, reflectors were used to brighten up his face by bouncing the sunlight onto the underside of his face. 
Because I wasn't in an overly bright area I needed to raise my ISO from 100 to 320 or else my image would have come out darker than intended. 
I chose an Aperture of 2.0 because I wanted to make sure his entire face was in focus, but that my background had a very little definition in it. So my viewers eyes aren't focused on the background, it draws your eye directly into my subject's face/expression.
As far as shutter speed, you never want to shoot a child with a shutter speed less than 1/125th second. Why you ask, because they move. In order to prevent motion blur or having all around blurry images, you need to shoot at a faster shutter speed with children. Nor should you use a shutter speed less than the focal length of your lens (e.g. an 85mm lens you shouldn't go below 1/85th of a second for a shutter speed, unless you are using a tripod).
 So I chose the shutter speed of 1/320th of a second because I wanted to make sure my subject was in focus and that any slight movement of my hands or the subject didn't cause blurring! 

Well look forward to more information on Understanding ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture in the next few days!
Thanks for reading!

Tori D.



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