Everything You Need To Know About The Exposure Triangle

What is the Exposure Triangle?

The Exposure Triangle consists of 3 key elements; the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Each one of these 3 elements is a contributing factor to the exposure (brightness) of your image. The key to a perfectly lit photo is a good exposure triangle. You will have to play with these 3 key elements to figure out exactly how you want your photo exposed. Luckily, we are here to help you learn these key factors.

How does this work?

If you change one, you have to change the other. They all work with each other, so figuring out what all 3 of these do is the very first step and will help you tremendously in the exposure of your photos. Here a representation of an exposure triangle:

What else do they affect?

And just when you thought you were starting to understand it, I’m going to confuse you even more.

Not only do these 3 key elements control the exposure of your photo but they also have their own settings that they control, which you will learn about in each section:

Aperture also controls the depth of field, which is how much of the image is in focus.

Shutter Speed also controls how long the shutter stays open, it will either show motion blur or it will freeze the frame.

ISO also controls the amount of noise on the image.

That’s all folks!

This is one of the most important things to remember when starting out in photography, the exposure triangle and how it works. This is what sets apart the people that are actually trying to get the right photograph (like you) and those that just want to shoot in automatic mode.

The amazing thing about digital cameras nowadays is that you can shoot as much as you want and actually see how your image looks when you change one of these elements in real-time and then just delete the image when you’re done.

It’s a bit of a guessing game when you first start, then you keep playing with it until you understand what each one does, then it will become second nature.

 

Feature image credit: Daniel Böswald

2 Comments on “Everything You Need To Know About The Exposure Triangle”

  1. Pingback: Aperture: The Basics

  2. Pingback: ISO: The Basics

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