Meta Explains The Exposure Triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO For Beginners

Understanding The Exposure Triangle By Nature Photographer Meta Gatschenberger

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Meta Explains The Exposure Triangle For Beginners

Meta’s Digital Camera Settings Section covers The Exposure Triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.

The Correct Exposure is your Creative Combination of the Three Elements of the Exposure Triangle; Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.

For every action we take one way in stops with one of the Three Elements, we make an equal but opposite adjustment in stops on another side(s) of the Exposure Triangle. When we let more light in one place, we control it in another place to give us the Perfect Exposure.

Award Winning Western North Carolina Nature Photographer Meta Gatschenberger, RN, shoots with Sony Digital Cameras and Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Faster and Larger SD Cards – Shooting 5 Bracketed Shots for every HDR Image or Shooting RAW at 10 to 12 Shots Per Second in High Speed Burst Mode can quickly fill up Smaller SD Cards, which is why Meta uses Faster and Larger SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards. Now Up To 1TB!
The Exposure Triangle

Meta Explains Exposure: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO For Beginners

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Understanding The Exposure Triangle For Beginners

The Exposure Triangle as 3 Sides: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. All 3 Sides make up the Brightness of your Photograph, also called Exposure.

Meta has included these Beginner Photography Videos From Wolf Amri of Photos1x1.

Welcome To Exposure – Watch a Video

1.0 Exposure – Watch a Video
1.1 Aperture – Watch a Video
1.2 Shutter Speed – Watch a Video
1.3 ISO – Watch a Video

2.0 Effects of Aperture and Shutter Speed – Watch a Video
2.1 Effects of Aperture Part I – Watch a Video
2.2 Effects of Aperture Part II – Watch a Video
2.3 Effects of Aperture Part III – Watch a Video

2.4 Effects of Shutter Speed Part I – Watch a Video
2.5 Effects of Shutter Speed Part II – Watch a Video
2.6 Effects of Shutter Speed Part III – Watch a Video
2.7 Effects of Shutter Speed Part IV – Watch a Video

2.8 Camera Modes – Watch a Video

Better Bokeh: Five Factors For Better Background Blur – Watch a Video

Quality: RAW vs. JPEG – Watch a Video

Lens Comparison Tool – This handy online tool was created to help you decide which Camera Lens or Digital Camera to buy. It will show you how different Focal Lengths / Apertures / Crop Sensor vs. Full Frame Sensor affect the look of your Digital Photographs.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Sony Mirrorless Cameras – Did you know that Amazon sells New and Used Sony Mirrorless Cameras? You can buy Top Quality, New, Like New or Mint Condition Sony Mirrorless Cameras directly from Reputable Camera Shops on Amazon! Meta has purchased many of her Sony Mirrorless Digital Cameras directly from Amazon.

Meta Explains Aperture For Beginners

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Aperture – Watch a Video


Aperture

Aperture Numbers Explained In Detail – Watch a Video

The Aperture Size of a Lens, which is measured in f/stops, refers to the area of the lens opening or hole (pi R Squared). The area or f/stop of your lens controls how much light hits the Digital Camera’s sensor. Aperture also determines how much of the picture is sharp in front of the focus point and behind the focus point (Depth of Field). The aperture blades are embedded within the lens, not the camera, and open and close controlled by the camera aperture setting, so each lens has its own unique range of openings or f/stops.

Most Lenses are rated from f/1.4 (Wide Open) to f/22 (Very Small Opening). The Aperture Size also determines the Depth of Field, or how much of the image is in sharp focus. A wide open aperture (f/1.4) means very little is in focus, and will often create a nice blurred background. A small aperture (f/22) means that everything is in focus, including the background. The largest aperture available on most Telephoto Lenses is about f/2.8, but many Fast Prime Lenses, such as the Minolta 50mm f/1.4, can open much wider, making Prime Lenses ideal for Low Light Night Photography and Astrophotography.

In comparison, a human’s eye has an aperture of f/2.1, but an owl’s eye has an aperture of f/1.3, so the owl has almost twice the night vision.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersFaster Lenses – One of the Beginner Photographer mistakes that Meta made when she got her first camera was purchasing cheaper f/4–f/5.6 lenses rather than faster f/2.8 lenses. For a long term investment, spend the extra money on the faster f/2.8 lenses. These will allow you to photograph in lower light situations and at faster shutter speeds!

Meta Explains Shutter Speed For Beginners

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Shutter Speed – Watch a Video


Shutter Speed

The Shutter Speed determines how long the Digital Camera’s Sensor is exposed to the light. Shutter Speed is recorded in Seconds or Fractions of a Second. A Typical Digital Camera’s Shutter Speed might be 1/250th or 1/125th of a second. Most Modern Digital Cameras can manually adjust Shutter Speeds internally from about 30 Seconds to 1/8000th of a Second. Shutter Speeds longer than 30 Seconds (Bulb Mode) will typically require the attachment of an external Intervalometer.

Slower Shutter Speeds Blur the Action, where Faster Shutter Speeds freeze the Action. Slower Shutter Speeds can be used for Creative Effects, such as blurring water in Waterfall Photography or to Capture the Night Sky in Astrophotography.

Faster Shutter Speeds can be used for Wildlife Photography and Hummingbird Photography to freeze a bird’s wings in flight.

Minimum Hand Held Shutter Speed For Still Photography
Full Frame Cameras: Minimum Hand Held Shutter Speed = 1 / (Focal Length). Example: 200mm Lens = 1/200th of a Second.
APS-C Cameras: Minimum Hand Held Shutter Speed = 1 / (Focal Length x 2). Example: 200mm Lens = 1/400th of a Second.
For Fast Action Photography, you might want to Quadruple the Minimum Shutter Speed!
Example: Fast Action Photography on an APS-C Camera with a 200mm Lens = 1/1600th of a Second!

Never shoot Hand Held below 1/60th of a Second, no matter what the Focal Length of the Lens.
If you need to shoot at Slower Shutter Speeds, use a Sturdy Tripod or a Monopod.

SteadyShot – Turning on your Digital Camera’s In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) or Sony’s SteadyShot INSIDE, can help reduce Image Blur due to Hand Shake, but it can’t reduce the Motion Blur of a Moving Subject.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersSteadyShot (In Body Image Stabilization or IBIS) – SteadyShot INSIDE is built into the body of the Sony Digital Cameras, and not into the lenses. Sony claims SteadyShot can add 4 Stops of Light. Meta recommends leaving SteadyShot ON when shooting Hand Held and when shooting on a Sturdy Tripod to help with wind shake or ground vibration.

Meta Explains ISO For Beginners

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ISO – Watch a Video


ISO

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is not an acronym. It’s pronounced: Eye-So, and replaced the old Film ASA (American Standards Association) System. ISO refers to the Amplifier Gain applied to your Digital Camera’s Sensor. ISO has a major effect on your the quality of your images and should not be ignored. Most Digital Cameras have a Base ISO or Native ISO (No Sensor Amplification) of ISO 100, which will result in the lowest noise and highest quality shoots. You should try to stick to the Native ISO to get the highest image quality.

Increasing the ISO or Turning Up the Sensor Amplification, allows the Digital Camera to Photograph in Lower Light, but at the cost of introducing more Sensor Noise to your images. How much Sensor Noise is Acceptable is up to you and the ability of your Post Processing Software’s Noise Filters.

Meta shoots in Auto ISO, but Limited to ISO 800 (APS-C) or ISO 1600 (Full Frame), not the Factory Default of ISO 6400, which is way too high and too noisy.

Astrophotography requires a much higher ISO, such as ISO 2500.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersNative ISO – Know the Native ISO of your Digital Camera and try to photograph at the Native ISO. Only raise the ISO as a Last Resort, after you have attempted to decrease the Shutter Speed or Open the Aperture of your Len. Most Digital Cameras have Native ISO from ISO 50 to ISO 200. Sony Digital Cameras have a Native ISO of ISO 100.

Determining Your Maximum ISO Limit – Every Digital Camera Sensor and Sensor Amplifier is different, so you might want to experiment by taking a series of Out of Focus Shots, covering Light and Dark areas, at many different fixed ISO Values. Compare the amount noise generated at each ISO Value. Determine what amount of Sensor Noise is acceptable to you and how well your Post Production Software can effectively remove it, without degrading the image details. Then decide on your Maximum ISO Limit for your Sony Digital Camera.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAuto ISO – One advantage of using Auto ISO Limited to ISO 800 (APS-C) over a Fixed ISO Value, is that you will get more Auto ISO Selections, like ISO 125, ISO 160, ISO 250, ISO 320, ISO 500, and ISO 640, which are not available in the Fixed ISO Selection of ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400 and ISO 800.

Meta Explains Exposure For Beginners – Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO

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Exposure – Watch a Video


Exposure

The Correct Exposure is your Creative Combination of the Three Elements of the Exposure Triangle; Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO Sensor Sensitivity.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Did you know that Amazon sells Used Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses? You can buy Top Quality, Like New or Mint Condition Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses directly from Reputable Camera Shops in the USA and Japan on Amazon! Meta has purchased many of her Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses directly from Amazon.

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