The three pillars of a good photograph

Getting proper exposure in photography consists of balancing three things: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. You can start off by shooting in automatic or priority mode, but to get full control and shoot with manual camera controls you’ll have to understand the relationship between these three things that each directly affect the exposure and quality of your image.

ISO – Pronounced “eye-so,” this is (strangely) an acronym for International Organization for Standardization. The ISO indicates how sensitive the sensor or film is to light. For darker scenarios, you’ll need to use higher or more sensitive ISO settings to capture light, such as 800 or 1600 ISO. Higher settings generally introduce more grain or noise into the image.

Aperture – This refers to the size of the opening in the lens diaphragm. Smaller numbers mean a larger opening and more shallow depth of field in your images. Larger numbers let through less light, but make more of your image look sharp.

Shutter speed – This is the amount of time your camera’s shutter is open and the amount of time your sensor or film is exposed to light. Faster speeds can “stop” motion, while slower speeds let in more light and can capture blur and motion.

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