31 Days: Day 7

Today is a special day. You don't know it yet (or maybe you do), but it is. Today we have all of the tools to control... the Exposure Triangle!

Aren't you pumped? I am.

The exposure triangle is an illustration of the three aspects of your camera that control light in your pictures: ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture.

(from Digital Photography School - they're so good)

So from what we've learned, maximum light will come into your camera if...
  1. The ISO is high - say 1600
  2. The shutter speed is slow - say you set it to stay open for 30 seconds
  3. The aperture (f-stop) number is low - say f/4.5
If you're in a very low light situation, this would help your picture look brighter (and the opposite will make your picture darker).  But, if you're in a brighter light situation, your picture might be over-exposed.

Exposure is a term for how much light hits your picture.
  1. Over-exposure means your picture looks like it's overwhelmed by light.
  2. Under-exposure means your picture looks like it doesn't have enough light.
  3. Perfect exposure... we'll I'm going to say it's a matter of taste.
Too much...                                       Too little...

Juuust right

With an understanding of how to control ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you can control the exposure of your picture - very important with any picture, but especially for the finicky lighting situation of indoor photography! Knowledge is power!

Since you can get the same exposure with different portions of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, choosing how to mix them depends on what other features of your picture you want to control.
  1. ISO also influences the graininess (noise) of a picture.
  2. Shutter speed changes how movement is caught in a picture.
  3. Aperture adjusts your depth of field.
So essentially it's always about choice and compromise. Choose which feature is most important to you and adjust the other two elements to get a good exposure.

I don't know about you, but this is a lot for me to take in. So much power! I highly recommend experimentation. Forgive yourself in advance for horrible pictures, and get excited in advance for all of the potential you've now unlocked!

Take pictures! Take TONS of them! And let me know how it's going - I would love to post examples of your progress on my Sunday Snapshots post :)


  1. I'm going to play today and tomorrow and send you results!

    I'm so excited to see how things turn out! I am learning so much!


  2. i'm so lost...but hanging in with you!