Friday, September 26, 2014

For beginners: Understanding exposure in 3 steps. Step 1: understanding aperture.

The word photography etymologically means “drawing with light”. So exposure is all about how much light you let into your camera: if there is too much of it, your photo will be too bright (overexposed), and if too little, your photo will be too dark (underexposed).
Here you can see 3 photos: 1) good exposure, 2) underexposed, 3) overexposed.


The photo with good exposure.

This photo is too dark - underexposed.

 This photo is too bright - overexposed.

How light or how dark your photograph depends on three camera settings, one of which is aperture.
You can imagine aperture as a “hole” in the lens. It can open allowing more light to come into the camera and it can close and become as little as a hole. The aperture setting is indicated by the f-number or f-stops – the larger the f-number, the smaller the aperture. For example f/22 – is a “small” aperture – it means that the camera lens is almost closed preventing so much light from entering; f/8 – is a “medium” aperture – not so small and not large; f/2 – is a “large” aperture – it means that the lens is opened allowing more light to pass through the lens. 

Every lens has its limit on how large or how small the aperture can get:  there are maximum (lowest f-number) and minimum apertures (highest f-number). The maximum aperture shows the speed of the lens. A lens with an aperture of f/1.2 or f/1.4 as the maximum aperture is considered to be a fast lens, because it can pass through more light than, for example, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0. Lenses with large apertures are better suited for low light photography.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the technical terms and numbers. You’ll understand everything perfectly after trying all the different settings.
 Thank you for reading!