• Sam Burville

Photography Top Tips # 2 - Exposure

So exposure..... This is one of the most fundamental aspects of photography; you will often hear a photographer referring to "getting the exposure right". So, what is meant by exposure and why is it so important..?

In a nutshell, "exposure" is simply the process of letting light enter your camera, through the lens and illuminating the digital sensor (assuming we have all made the leap to digital cameras now) which in turn produces your image!!

So "getting the right exposure" is simply referring to getting the right amount of light through into the digital sensor.

Wedding Photography

Underexposed (Not enough light) 

The image will be too dark and lack detail in the darker/shaded areas often just showing as black.

Overexposed (Too much light)

The image will look overly bright and may have some "blown-out" areas showing as pure white in colour.

The idea of the perfect exposure is to find the sweet spot somewhere between the two....

So what affects exposure..?

There are three main things that affect the exposure - aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Balancing these three elements is critical in gaining a good exposure. All three of these are worthy of a blog post in their own right but here is short description of each one to give you an idea of how they will affect your image:

Shutter Speed - All cameras contain a shutter either electronic or mechanical; the job of the shutter is to allow in or shut out the light. Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter will allow light into the camera.

Aperture - The aperture is literally the hole in your cameras lens that lets light pass through to the sensor. When adjusting the aperture you are making the hole either larger or smaller, thus allowing more / less light through.

ISO - ISO setting amplifies the signal to your camera's sensor, this makes the sensor more/less sensitive to the light that it is exposed too.

In our next instalment we will run through in more detail these three elements and how you can use them to get more artistic control over your images.

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