Extreme Photography: Exposure Triangle {ISO, Aperture, & Shutter Speed}

Last week we discussed the types of cameras that can be used for shooting photos underwater, a point and shoot, a four/thirds, or a dSLR. Now let’s discuss the Exposure Triangle.

No matter what type of camera you are using, all photography is based off of a triangle of three principles that work together: ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. The combination of these three things work together to produce the photo you see as your end result.

If you are shooting with a dSLR or a 4/3rds camera you have the option to piece these three aspects together. A Point and Shoot pieces these together for you. Today I’m going to share with you what these three things mean and how they work together no matter what type of camera you choose to shoot with.

The Settings

This shot is looking at the top of my dSLR camera. You can choose what setting you want to shoot in.

Green Auto (Canon – Green box) – This is the Fully Automatic setting. Everything is already programmed and the flash pops up when it thinks it is needed. (Steer clear of the built-in flash if at all possible!!)

P = Program – You can pick and choose whether or not to use the flash in this setting. This setting is very similar to the Fully Auto setting, but you have the ability to change your ISO.  As you change the ISO, the camera adjusts the rest of your settings.

S (Shutter Speed or Canon – Tv = Time Value)

~In this setting you can change the shutter speed using the little dial on the backside of the camera, you also set the ISO settings.

Slow Shutter Speed (low number) allows in more light but also shows motion in pictures. This is a slow shutter speed, which explains why the hands look like there is a trail behind the fingers.

Fast Shutter Speed (high number) allows for a crisp clear picture. This turtle was on the move, but with a quick shutter speed he looks like he’s standing still. (or is that swimming still?)

A (or Canon Av = Aperture Value) – this determines the amount of light you let in.

In short….

Too much light entering the camera means you will have a photo that is overexposed or Blown out”.

Too little light entering the camera means you will have a picture that is underexposed or too dark.

M = Manual – With Manual Exposure you have full control of your picture.  You change both the Shutter Speed and Aperture Value as well as controlling the ISO.

ISO – is the amount of light you allow into the camera. Think of a film camera. When you bought film you either bought 200 or you bought 400 or you bought 800.

ISO Noise – Think of it as worker bees. If you have 200 worker bees in high light conditions more light gets in with less bees so there are less bees “in the way.” If you have 800 worker bees, those bees are working harder in lower light conditions to bring light in, but there are more bees to get in the way… noise.

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