Digital Photography Basics
(The Exposure Triangle)

Do you know your digital photography basics

Digital Photography Basics

You’ve already figured out how to turn your camera on and have turned the knob to the green button and have proven to yourself and the world that you can, in fact, take a picture.

This is good.

There are many exercises and training techniques you can practice using Auto Mode.

But you are here for more. You want to get the digital photography basics so you can begin to control your camera.

Very well. 

Meet your three photo superhero sidekicks. These are the exposure settings that give you the options needed to work with light and to fight the evils of darkness.

Your Three Photography Superhero Sidekicks

Meet ISO – When light gets low, I mean real low, like you’ve lost all sunlight and all you have left is a 40 watt bulb off in the distance you can call on ISO to let in more light. All you have to do is raise your camera’s ISO to a higher number to let more light onto your camera’s sensor. But beware! If you raise your ISO too high your picture will have a lot of noise.

Meet Aperture – Dim lighting got you down? Open up your aperture to let the good light in. Aperture controls the way your lens manages light. To open the aperture on your lens, set your f/stop to a lower setting (something like f/2.8 or f/1.8 or f/1.2). Each time you lower your lens’ f/stop (which opens the lens’ aperture) more light comes in through your lens to save the day. But beware! When Aperture is wide open that can cause you to lose focus. Your depth of field will change with each adjustment to your f/stop setting.

Meet Shutter –  Can’t seem to get enough light? You can use a long (or slow) shutter speed to let in distant star light on the darkest of nights. But beware! If you use a slow shutter speed your pictures could turn into a blur. A tripod is Shutter's personal assistant and it can help keep things steady when your shutter has to be slow. Is fast action giving you the blurry picture blues? Your shutter can help with that too. A fast shutter speed can stop a bullet in its tracks.

Every Picture Has An Exposure Setting

Your three photo superhero sidekicks work in tandem on every picture you take.

You cannot not have an ISO setting.

You cannot choose to not set your Aperture.

And try as you might, you will use your Shutter.

Your task in managing the exposure settings that control your pictures is to know how to use this trio of photography sidekicks in tandum to give your pictures the power they need.

So go forth and practice. Learn how your pictures react to each exposure setting change. Understand how they work together and you will be well on your way to becoming a superhero photographer.

More from picture power

Recommended for you

photography lesson plans pack


Return Home

Return Home from Digital Photography Basics