You Might be Wondering What is Exposure Triangle?, and how do, I Understand, How Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO Work Together, and why it is important to know about the photography triangle? Is it Really Important?
Go back to basics and learn how exposure, shutter speed, and ISO work together to achieve good photographs. This will help you know how you should compose your photograph, what kind of shutter speed to use, and what ISO to use in a certain situation.
Learn about depth of field, how it is achieved, and how to control it in a correct way when shooting still life and landscape photographs. Understanding the depth of field will allow you to adjust the depth of field in your photograph and use proper focal lengths for the subject, especially in macro photography.
Learn about how the lighting affects your photograph, from overexposure to under or underexposure. Understanding the right amount of light for your photo is one of the most important things you need to know when taking a picture.
This article provides a practical way to learn about how the exposure triangle works in photography. What if you don’t have any clue about the exposure triangle and why the exposure triangle is important? This article should be helpful to you. You will learn about the exposure triangle and why it is important.
The Exposure Triangle (Photography Triangle)
For a photo to be successful, three factors should be present in it: the subject (image), the camera settings (manual mode or auto mode), and the exposure triangle (EV, I, and S, or EV, Shutter speed, and ISO).
That’s the basic definition of the exposure triangle. It sounds very straightforward, but it is very complex.
Take a look at the illustration below. The importance of the exposure triangle in photography should be obvious to you.
That’s what the exposure triangle is all about. The reason why there are more variables in the exposure triangle, and why it is important to know how the exposure triangle works is because every single photographic technique can be summed up in the concept of the exposure triangle.
With a little bit of know-how, you can achieve good results with every technique, whether it is macro, landscape, sports, portraiture, or street photography.
Using Aperture to Control The Spectrum of Light
The human eye has two photoreceptors: rods and cones. Rods are large, compact photoreceptors and are often termed “black and white” and sensitive to mostly red light. But we also have cones which have more information about colors, and they are also called “color vision”.
And while it is very hard to produce an image with both rods and cones in perfect balance, we can manage to get something close with a lens with three settings, known as the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, or ISO range.
We do it by controlling the three settings. With our eyes, we adjust the amount of light that enters our eyes by closing the lens to focus the image. With our eyes, we adjust the focus by opening the lens again to let more light in. With our eyes, we adjust the focus by controlling the aperture to control the amount of light entering the camera.
With a lens, we do exactly the same thing, except that instead of focusing with our eyes, we focus by adjusting the aperture. We do that by closing the lens to stop the light from entering the lens.
Most cameras have a limited number of adjustable apertures, but the wide aperture (f/1.4 or f/1.8) is designed to let in more light, and thus let in more light with a lens of a fixed aperture will result in a brighter image.
To get a slightly different result, a lens of a variable aperture (say f/2.8) will be used, so that we can control the amount of light that enters the lens.
In the image below, I have used a Nikon 24mm f/1.4 lens for Nikon DX DSLRs.
Closely examine the image of the broken car, and you can see that the exposure is much brighter at f/2.8 compared to f/1.4. In fact, by f/1.4, there is practically no image in the frame. The image is mostly blown out.
Take a look at the photos below. The aperture is set to f/2.8, which means that the photo of the broken car is even brighter at f/2.8 than at f/1.4.
The second photo is also very bright at f/2.8, but a little bit darker than at f/1.4.
In other words, aperture is the lens’ ability to control the amount of light entering the lens.
The aperture is important, and it is usually a factor of more to weaker. A Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens is significantly brighter than a Nikon 50mm f/1.4, but the latter is not too bright.
Aperture also has two important qualities:
Angle of view
Size and Width refer to the diameter of the opening, whereas angle of view refers to the amount of light that enters the lens.
Aperture cannot be smaller than the maximum width, and cannot be wider than the maximum angle of view of the lens.
Aperture also has an effect on the shutter speed, which is defined as the amount of time for which light is allowed to enter the lens.
On the camera, the shutter speed is determined by the aperture, and this is the speed that the camera opens or closes the lens to change the amount of light entering the lens.
While there is no exact formula for shutter speed, you will often see maximums like 1/250th or 1/50th of a second, with a shutter speed that varies between 1/30 and 1/60.
Let’s say you have a Nikon Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, and the maximum shutter speed is 1/200th of a second. The light entering the lens would be 1/3 of a stop less than the maximum brightness.
To solve this problem, the shutter speed can be slowed down, and the amount of light entering the lens will increase, so that the exposure is the same as before.
So, shutter speed controls the amount of light entering the lens.
Apart from this, there are a few other factors in use.
In the camera, you can use shutter priority, manual, or automatic mode to set your shutter speed. In manual mode, the shutter speed can be set automatically. In automatic mode, the shutter speed is set based on the focal length of the lens.
The longer the focal length, the slower the shutter speed. So you can either set a low shutter speed, or you can set a fast shutter speed, and it will adjust automatically.
The Exposure Metering System
The other thing you need to consider when setting your shutter speed is the exposure metering system in the camera.
In aperture, the sensor does the job of determining how much light is entering the lens. However, in shutter, you are relying on the sensor. If there is not enough light in the frame, the camera will detect the exposure error, and limit the amount of light that enters the lens.
Also, there is a metering system that helps the camera determine the exposure error. This is called exposure compensation (or gamma correction). So, to get a brighter image, you will set your camera for a slower shutter speed.
Light to Dusk/Dusk to Dawn
To get an accurate exposure, your camera must have a fairly long exposure time. Otherwise, the camera will wrongly set the shutter speed.
When you use a camera, a standard exposure time is 1/4000 of a second. The shutter of your camera has to be open for this time, which is the amount of time the light meter needs to measure the exposure.
Most cameras can work for 30 seconds, but this is not recommended. In general, you can take longer shutter speeds, but the focus and other features of the camera will not be accurate at these times. So you will have to be careful.
For example, when I take sunrise pictures, I will take pictures for about 30 seconds, which gives me the opportunity to set my camera to a long exposure time.
However, if I want to get the background as dark as possible, I might take 15 or even 10 seconds to shoot the picture. That way, I can set my shutter speed to an appropriate time, and I can use the autofocus for the best effect.
When you take a picture, you should always be in manual mode. As mentioned earlier, ISO and aperture are defined by f-stops, so you can adjust these settings by yourself in manual mode.
The ISO (or ISO level) determines the sensitivity of the camera to light. In photography, ISO level refers to the sensitivity to light in a given range. It is often used to determine the settings that allow your camera to capture the proper amount of light.
A higher ISO level allows for a brighter picture, but it will also give your camera more trouble in low light situations. This is why you should use a lower ISO in low-light situations.
Nikon uses a separate ISO level for each of its cameras. For example, the 12.1mm f/2.8 zoom lens on a Nikon D3200 has an ISO range of 100-25600, and that’s because of the fact that each of these lenses uses a different ISO level.
In terms of shutter speed, the higher the ISO level, the shorter the shutter speed you can use.
These are the shutter speeds that a digital camera with a 24mp sensor can handle in good light conditions:
ISO 100- 6400
ISO 1600- 25600
ISO 3200- 12800
ISO 6400- 25600
ISO 6400- 25600
If you want to know how many stops of light is in one ISO level, you can use this calculator:
Stops of Light
As you can see, the 24mp Nikon D3200 can handle 14 stops of light. That’s enough to take photos in good lighting conditions. If you want to go higher, you can increase ISO to around ISO 25600.
However, this does not mean that you can take very bright pictures. You will also need a tripod to take long exposures, and you won’t have much luck shooting at night. In addition, you might not have the choice of either a high ISO or a long shutter speed. So you will probably want to stick with ISO 12800 or ISO 1600.
The higher the ISO level, the more noise will be present in the photo. You will also have problems in low light, because the camera will need a longer exposure time.
To help reduce the noise, try to shoot in RAW format, or if you have a dedicated RAW-capable camera, you can go for a higher ISO. In this way, you will have to process your photos before you post them to the Internet.
Another important factor when you take a photo is the focal length of the lens. The shorter the focal length, the more details you can capture. However, when the camera focuses on the closest part of your scene, there will be noise and other issues.
So, when shooting a scene with a long focal length, the depth of field will be smaller. In other words, it will be easier to see the details in your photos, but you will not be able to focus on anything else, like a person’s face.
At night, your best bet is to choose a focal length of 16mm, if you want to take photos of a person’s face.
However, most of the time, you will want to go for a focal length of 40mm or less.
In most cases, this will be enough to capture the big picture, but if you want to have more details, a slightly longer focal length is good, but do not go for a wide-angle lens.
When taking a picture at 16mm, you can use an 85mm or a 135mm lens, but these lenses are usually much more expensive than the ones that you can find in standard sizes.
If you want to get the most out of your