Exposure Basics

*ISO -The ISO measures sensitivity to light. Start with a standard setting like 400 for a dslr or 100 for a compact camera. Use lower settings for bright outdoor shots, use higher settings for darker indoor shots. At higher settings you may get noise in your image! Lower ISO numbers allow for more color saturation but will require more light. Lower ISO settings take slower shutter speeds. Higher ISO settings take faster shutter speeds.

*Aperture -The aperture controls the amount of light let into the camera. A small aperture/bigger numbers lets in less light. A wide open aperture/smaller numbers lets in more light. aperture is measured in f stops. Aperture affects the depth of field. Use a higher number to get everything in sharper focus. Higher numbers mean smaller apertures. f/8 or f/11 for example. To blur your background and keep your subject in focus use a lower number. Lower numbers mean wider apertures. f/1.8 or f/3.5 for example. Smaller apertures/higher numbers need a slower shutter speed. Wider apertures/lower numbers allow for faster shutter speeds.

*Shutter Speed -The shutter speed controls how long the shutter is open. Settings of 1/4000 – 1/100 are considered fast, 1/80 – 1/4 medium, 0.3″ – 0.8″ slow, 1 – 1.3 – 3.2 – 4 – 30 very slow. Slow speeds let in more light, the lower the light in the room the slower the shutter speed should be. Slow speeds blur motion. Faster speeds let in less light. Faster speeds stop motion.


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