Monday, April 14, 2014

E is for Exposure

Today in the ABCs of photography:

E is for Exposure

Exposure (ik-spoh-zher): a. the intensity of light falling on a photographic film or plate multiplied by the time for which it is exposed
b. a combination of lens aperture and shutter speed used in taking a photograph

Today, we are combining E for exposure with U for underexposed and O for overexposed. 

Obviously, whether it's film, a plate or a sensor, getting the perfect exposure is crucial. I mean, the right exposure can make or break your image! The perfect exposure, in traditional terms, has a wide range of tones from dark to light without clipping your highlights or shadows. (You can learn more about clipping in our upcoming blog post H is for histogram.) The short of it, though, is that you don't want to lose details in the lights and darks of your images. As you can see in the example below, we have three images of a camera (bonus points if you noticed that it's the same camera we used in our C is for Camera blog post): one is far too dark, one is far too light and one is just right. 

There are a few ways you can adjust your exposure, including changing your aperture, your shutter, or you ISO. Though, each function serves a different purpose, so choose wisely! 

  • Aperture affects your depth of field (the wider the hole, the more shallow the focus)
  • Shutter affects the movement in your image (the faster the shutter, the more still the subject)
  • ISO affects the noise in your image (or the grain of the film)

For more tips and tricks, be sure to stay tuned for more letters!