Friday, February 4, 2011

Exposure Triangle

The key to properly exposing a photo is evenly balancing the three points of the exposure triangle: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

  • Bump up the ISO and you can use a smaller the aperture or faster shutter speed.  But the downside of a faster ISO is the introduction of noise. 
  • Slow down the shutter and you can use a lower ISO or smaller aperture. Again, there's a downside. Slower shutters require both the subject and the camera to be stable.
  • Use a larger aperture and you can use a lower ISO or faster shutter speed. Wider apertures is dependent upon the lens. There's a direct correlation between wide apertures and cost.
Fortunately technology is making it easier to balance the triangle:
  • Manufactures are constantly trying to out do each other with higher ISO capabilities combined with better noise reduction.
  • Image stabilization makes it easier to handhold a camera through longer exposures.
  • Well, glass is still expensive. But lenses are getting sharper and sharper with each generation.

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