The Exposure Triangle Part 4 – Bringing it All Together

In our exciting conclusion to the exposure triangle series I will bring all of the individual elements together and explain my general thoughts on how I choose settings and modes.

The exposure triangle is the general concept that the elements of your exposure need to be balanced.  This is really more of an art than a science and takes lots of practice to master.  When shooting in automatic mode your camera uses various algorithms to determine what settings should be used.  If you’re shooting in a manual or semi manual (aperture/shutter priority) you need to choose some or all of these settings on your own.  Below I’ll be outlining a general guideline for how I choose settings, but the best way to learn is to experiment with all the various modes. Continue reading


The Exposure Triangle Part 3 – Aperture

In this Third post on the exposure triangle, I will be covering aperture, which is in my mind the most interesting part of the exposure triangle. It has two primary affects, depth of field and exposure speed. Like shutter speed aperture works the same for digital and film cameras so will be making no distinctions in this post.


Aperture is the measurement of the size of the hole in your lens that light travels through to fall on your image sensor.  It is measured with f numbers where a low number means you have a large aperture where more light is allowed onto the sensor.  A high f number means you have a small aperture where less light is allowed onto the sensor. Each of the aperture numbers on your camera is called a stop, and when you change from one full stop to the next or previous full stop you’re doubling or halving the amount of light that will fall on your image sensor. This will double or halve the amount of time you need to properly expose your image. I specify full stop because some lenses will allow you to change the aperture by less than a full stop allowing for a finer control. I will explain this in a bit more detail in the technical aside below but, the f stop scale does not go 1, 2 ,3, and so, full stops actually go 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, etc. Continue reading

The Exposure Triangle Part 1 – ISO

Originally I wanted to write a single blog post that covered the exposure triangle in its entirety. Now that it’s finished, I’ve decided that it needs to be broken into multiple posts so fewer people hit the tldr wall. I’ll be releasing new posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the next two weeks.

The exposure triangle is one of the major foundations of the art of photography. Each component affects the final exposure of your image and achieving your desired outcome is about finding the best balance between each element. The exposure triangle is made up of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed each of which I will be covering in this blog series. I will do my best to explain each of these aspects without going into too much technical detail, however it will likely be a staple of my blog to have technical asides when I feel the topic deserves one.


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