Posts Tagged 'How to use exposure Triangle'

Quick Camera Tweaks: Exposure Triangle

Quick Camera Tweaks: Exposure Triangle Explained

There are many terms in photography that sound very mysterious! Exposure Triangle is one of them. However, it is not as hard to understand as it sounds. Let me explain it to you.


What is Exposure Triangle in Photography?

Exposure means the amount of light that passes through the lens and hits the sensor. We call it “EXPOSURE.” 

A camera needs a certain amount of light to capture the image. So, if there is too much light, our picture gets too bright, and if there is less light, our photos would be dark. 

We can control the exposure (amount of light) using Shutter Speed (Duration of Light), Aperture (Volume of Light), and ISO (Sensitivity to Light). 

So, the combination of Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO makes the “EXPOSURE TRIANGLE.”

Exposure Triangle

Exposure Triangle
A perfect photographic a picture with correct exposure and artistic composition.

How to Use Exposure Triangle? 

Setting the exposure using the exposure triangle is an old fashion way and is helpful if you use an older camera that does not have a built-in light meter. With all the modern cameras, you can rely on your camera’s light meter.

Anyway, let me explain how the exposure triangle works.

As I mentioned above, we control the exposure using shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Therefore, if you change the shutter speed, you need to change the aperture and ISO to balance the exposure again. To make this adjustment, you need to use the exposure triangle to set all parameters correctly. (if your camera does not have a built-in light meter.)

For instance, You set the camera to shutter speed 1/250sec, the aperture to f2.8, and your ISO is 400. After taking the photo, you notice that the f2.8 caused a shallow depth of fields, and part of your subject is out of focus. To increase the depth of fields, you need to use f8. However, at f8, less amount of light hits the sensor. So you need to either slow down the shutter speed to match the f8 vs f2.8. Or, if you want to keep the shutter speed at 1/250sec, you need to increase the ISO.

How to Calculate the Settings Using the Exposure Triangle?

In the above example, when you change f2.8 to f8, you changed the exposure by four stops (2.8 to 3.5, 5.6, 8). Therefore, you need to slow down the shutter speed by four stops to 1/30sec (1/250 to 1/120 to 1/60 to 1/30). You can also keep the shutter speed at 1/250sec and change the ISO to 3200 (400 to 800 to 1600 to 3200).

You can ultimately slow down the shutter speed by one or two stops and balance the exposure by ISO or visa-versa. For example, you can use 1/120sec as the shutter speed and increase the ISO to 1600.

Exposure Triangle

Long Exposure Technique. Photo by Stephanie Campbell
Long Exposure Technique. Photo by Stephanie Campbell

Do you want to learn more?

Beginner’s Photography Bootcamp is a six-week program, and I cover old fashion and new and modern techniques. I teach the old techniques to make you prepared for shooting some old and vintage cameras.

I dedicate a good portion of our digital camera workshops to many advanced techniques. Digital Photography Bootcamp is one of our most popular photography courses. It has six classroom sessions and two field trips.

Our next Bootcamp starts on June 3, 2021. The Small class size and lots of hands-on techniques prepare you to shoot like a pro in six weeks.

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