Let there be light!

This week I have tried to learn the 3 basics. They seemed pretty complicated at the beginning, but are actually pretty straight forward. According to every photographer I watched, these 3 things are the foundation to photography. So let me share them with you.

I learnt about:

  1. ISO
  2. Aperture
  3. Shutter Speed

ISO – This is, as far as I understand it, the image sensor’s sensitivity to light. So, the higher (or bigger) the ISO number the more sensitive the sensor is to light, and the lower the number (or smaller), the less sensitive the camera sensor. The darker the area, the higher the ISO needs to be to let enough light in, although this does create noise in the image.

I didn’t understand what this meant at first, until I played with the numbers. Shooting on auto is good (and easy) because the camera does all the ISO adjustments for you. But have you ever taken a photograph and thought, if only I knew how to change the amount of light let into the camera? Well now you can! Just set your camera to manual and follow the menus and touch screen buttons and dials. Perhaps, like me, you might need to read the manual or watch tutorials.

Why do you need to play with this lighting setting? Well, simply put, if you are shooting in dark conditions you need your camera sensor to pick up on more light to make the image easier to see. If you are shooting in direct sunlight, you will want your pictures to have less light so you can see the subject.

This high and low light is referred to as exposure. You may have heard “oh my picture is so over exposed!” or the opposite, “This is awful! It is so dark and under exposed!” Well this is one of the ways to fix that.

Below are five images of ISO examples.

doubling iso

Aperture – However, ISO is not the only solution. It is one corner in the magic triangle. Aperture is corner number 2.

Aperture is defined as the:

“opening in a lens through which light passes to enter the camera. It is expressed in f-numbers like f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8 and so on to express the size of the lens opening, which can be controlled through the lens or the camera.”

(thank you @ https://photographylife.com/what-is-aperture-in-photography. Please check this super helpful website out for more details!)

Basically, these numbers are how big or small your lens can open. The wider the lens (smaller the number – I know right…super confusing) the more light your lens can let it. And vice versa. Basically, you need a lens with a smaller f number for the low light situations. However, you will find these are often the more expensive lens (F/1.2 – F/2).

Part 2 of aperture. What does the f stand for? Well, I had no idea until I started looking into this. Aperture is not all about light! It is also about focal length. Aperture is the the relationship of focal length to the diameter of the lens. I know this is super technical, but trust me it isn’t that bad.

Basically the bigger the focal number (f-stop), the sharper and more detailed the depth of field. Which basically means smaller numbers = blurry backgrounds and larger numbers = clearer backgrounds. It gets super technical, and because I am still learning all this – I will probably do a more in-depth discussion at a later stage.

Depth of Field at Different Aperture Settings

Shutter speed – This is how fast or slow your shutter can open and close. Every camera has a built in maximum and minimum shutter speed. Again, this links directly to how much or little light you let into your camera. It is basically the length of time light is exposed to the sensor. The longer the exposure, the more blurry the image and the shorter the exposure the less blurry the image. Shutter speed is awesome to play with when you want to do long exposure photographs with water or lights. The longer your shutter stays open, the more light and motion blur is captured. This is what creates those long light tails through a picture. This applies specifically to moving objects.

A Beginners Guide for Manual Controls in iPhone Photography ...

(An unsponsored announcement: watch Peter McKinnon’s videos titled Basics. There are a series of three videos. I found these three videos the easiest to understand.)

So these three elements all link together to form the exposure triangle (see picture below). Using these three things in conjunction with each other will create the perfect photograph. So, try shoot on manual for a week. Force yourself to get to know the numbers and understand how they relate to your images. Practical application in photography is far more successful than theory. Well, that is what I believe – and I am self teaching πŸ™‚

Photography Tips | High ISO VS Slow Shutter Speed

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t delete your photographs in camera, you might be able to save some of them in photoshop! If you know how… which I will get to when I get there too πŸ™‚

Next blog I’ll show you some examples of my own work where I have played with settings.

I hope this makes some sense to you? Please leave a like or comment and let me know? Maybe you have some thoughts on this matter? What videos do you think I should watch to help me understand this better? Or maybe you have some tips or tricks you can share?

If you have enjoyed this slightly more technical blog please hit a like. Also, click follow for more exciting things to come.

Life is about learning, I am glad you have joined me for this journey.

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