exposure triangle in photography

The Exposure Triangle

The Photography Exposure Triangle

Photography In Three Easy Steps!

The photography exposure triangle can be simplified into three easy steps!

When you take a photo, three things happen every time…

#1 – You Decide How Much Light (APERTURE)

#2 – How Long The Camera Stays Open To The Light (SHUTTER SPEED)

#3 – Finally, How Sensitive Your Sensor Is To The Light (ISO)

You Take Control Of All Three Settings

The combination of these three settings make up the photography exposure triangle.

This Is As Simple As 1 – 2 – 3

After that, it’s just a matter of practice! 

All Three Settings Affect Each Other

Since all three settings deal with the same available light, all three will affect each other!

What’s most important is to figure out the priority for what your shooting. Dial that setting in, and use the other two settings to balance your exposure.

Don’t overthink this!

Here are two examples…

A Sports Example

If you are happy with the exposure (the overall look of the photo) but need to raise the shutter speed to better freeze the subject.  You can raise shutter speed and bump up your ISO.

Raising your shutter speed is darkening the photo, bumping up your ISO is lightening it back up! The net effect is that you are getting the shutter speed you want while maintaining the exposure that you liked.

A Landscape Example

In landscape photography, you may be happy with the exposure but need more depth of field. You can raise the f-number (aperture) and slow down your shutter speed.

Raising your aperture makes the photo darker and slowing your shutter speed is lightening it back up!  The net effect is that you are getting the depth of field you want while maintaining the same exposure that you liked.

The Photography Exposure Triangle

Slow Down and Think About Things

Take a deep breath and figure out your priority. Is it depth of field? Is it motion? After you figure that out, exposing the image is a snap!