I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the weekend . We officially have two weeks left before we put our house on the market, Alfred and I have been working hard to get those last minute projects finished. It’s going to be a push, but I think we’ll meet our deadline.
With most of my time focused on blog designs, getting our house ready to sell and trying to keep a consistent posting schedule…I hate to say it but my photography has taken a back seat lately. I will try to continue to share tips as I learn, but they may be a little more sporadic than I originally had hoped.
As I am sitting here writing this first post about photography I feel as if I’m starting my blog for the first time again. I am a little nervous to share my photography knowledge because it is not very extensive, but if I’m able to break down a piece of what I have learned to help someone understand it a little better than they did before I will be happy…so here it goes.
Today, I am going to briefly explain ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed. I will dive into more depth about them over the next few weeks, but I thought we would start with an brief overview of all three and why they are important.
ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed are the three ways to control the amount of light that hits your camera’s sensor, this process is called exposure. The combination of ISO, Aperture and shutter speed are the are the key factor’s in creating an exposure, whether good or bad.
ISO is How SENSITIVE your sensor is to light. The higher the number the greater sensitivity to light. As far as ISO is concerned, the lower the number, the better the quality of the image. As your ISO gets larger the image gets grainier. However, ISO is a great way get more light into the camera in dim situations when you do not want to use a flash.
A General Rule of Thumb for ISO settings:
- Use an ISO of 100 or 200 outside on a sunny day
- If you taking photos outside out an overcast day, or in the evening use an ISO between 400-800
- At night, or in low lighting conditions you may have to go up to 1600.
When I am shooting photographs in my house during the day with natural light coming in the windows I keep my ISO around 400 or 800.
Next up, Aperture (also referred to as f-stop). The aperture is the opening in your lens that allows light to travel through to the sensor. It controls the VOLUME of light entering through your lens.
When you adjust the aperture on your lens you are adjusting the size of opening in the lens. The confusing thing about aperture is the smaller the number the larger the opening, allowing more light to travel to the sensor.
The aperture is actually a part of the lens, not the camera.
The cool thing about aperture is that it controls your depth of field (how much of the image is in focus).
The larger the f-stop (smaller opening) the more of your photo will be in focus. The smaller the f-stop (wider opening) less will be in focus.
The image of the lemons above was taken with an f-stop of 1.8. This created a very shallow depth of field and the only thing in focus in the photo was what I wanted to be in focus, the middle lemon, the rest of the image is blurry. The technical term for this out of focus blur is called bokeh (bow-ka).
Finally, the last term today is Shutter speed. Shutter speed is HOW LONG the shutter stays open allowing light to pass through to the sensor. The longer the shutter stays open the more light is allowed to enter the camera.
A fast shutter speed has the ability to freeze a moving object in time, a slow one will blur an object in motion.
For shutter speeds lower than 1/60 of a second a tripod should be used to keep the camera steady. At this speed you run the risk of motion blur if you are hand holding your camera.
Depending on your camera, shutter speeds can range from 1/8000 of a second down to 30 seconds.
Oh my goodness that was a looong post with very few pictures, thank you for staying with me…Are you completely overwhelmed?
Truly, the one thing that helped me more than anything else was learning that for the most part you are only adjusting the shutter speed to control the exposure during a shoot. So instead of worrying about which ISO, aperture and shutter speed you need for each photo, you really only have to worry about one 99% of the time.
Your ISO will most likely be set one time, at the beginning of your shoot. It is determined by your location (is it sunny, overcast, outside, inside, is it night time?)
The aperture may be set a little more often, but probably not on every shot you set-up. Decide whether you’re looking for a large or small depth of field and work from there. The smaller the aperture/ f-stop, the larger the opening, the shallower the depth of field.
Shutter speed will be what you use to control the exposure from shot to shot after the other two are set. Set your ISO, then your aperture, finally set your shutter speed. You can get a ballpark on whether the exposure is good by looking at your light meter (which is the device on your camera that measures light).
Your DSLR will have a light meter located inside. Move your shutter speed around until it is in the center of your meter, this will get you in the ballpark for a decent expsoure. I usually take a photo with the meter centered, then change my shutter speed one notch faster and one slower…just to make sure.
Finally, a few photos to demonstrate ISO, aperture and shutter speed.
However, I think it best displays aperture and depth of field. You will slowly see more of the photo comes into focus as the aperture/f-stop gets larger. You can see my settings on each of the photos. All of these photos were taken with a fixed 50mm lens. However, the F-stop, shutter speed and ISO change from photo to photo. The first # is the aperture/f-stop, the second is shutter speed and the third is ISO.
I hope if you stuck with me this long today you were able to take a small piece of understanding away. I will explain each of these pieces in more depth, but I wanted to give you an overview first.
Have a nice weekend!Pin It