The Three Factors of Light in Photography

You are likely to be more serious about your photography if you just purchased a DSLR camera. It is important to understand the basics of the camera’s physics, how certain settings affect your camera, and other useful information. Although photography is a rewarding profession and hobby, it can be difficult to master. You will only get far if you practice a lot. An SD card, a protective skylight filter, and a spare lithium battery are the most important things you need to have with your DSLR.

These are the three most important principles you need to understand. They are universal for all digital cameras. These principles are crucial to allow light to enter your camera to capture your shot. If they are not understood, you could end up with some wild results. Even for beginners, I recommend that you ignore all help and automatic settings and instead jump to the manual setting. Although it is difficult at first, you will soon learn how your camera works. These are the three main factors that affect light in your camera’s sensor:

1. ISO

This was the speed of the film in old film cameras. You would use 100 ISO film for bright sunny days. You would need 400 ISO for inside photography. The process is the same in a digital camera, but now it determines the sensitivity of the sensor to light (which has been replaced by the film). You should set your ISO at 100 if you’re outside shooting on bright days. You will need a higher ISO if you are shooting indoors. However, this is not required for most cameras that allow 1600 ISO. Some newer models go above this. Modern technology can eliminate the need to flash in many situations. Although the results may be grainier than expected, this is possible.

2. Aperture

The aperture is basically the door to your camera. The aperture can be adjusted depending on the lighting conditions and how much light you have. It controls how much light enters the camera. If you’re shooting landscapes, a large hole (higher f stop number) is required because you’ll need lots of light—a large hole (smaller f stop number is required for portraits). The depth of field can also be controlled by the aperture.

3. Shutter Speed

The shutter is the third and final way to limit light entering the camera. The shutter speed is the time that the shutter is left open. If you want to freeze motion crisply and cleanly, then use a fast shutter speed. A tripod is recommended for slow shutter speeds that show blurred motion.

Each of these affects each other and, in order to get a properly exposed photograph, you need to change both. This will make it easier to take note of your settings and practice.