Understanding Your Camera Exposure and Depth of Field

If you’ve recently moved to a point-and-click camera and now have one that relies heavily on an SLR camera, or indeed an SLR, you’ll be aware that there are a number of options to explore to create the best picture; however, what exactly is the purpose of each?


This is how much light is captured by the camera’s sensor in order in order to take a picture. It is essential to know the amount of light required for the picture; too many light sources and the photo will be blurred (too bright), and if there is not enough light, the image will turn out too dark. Three primary factors that affect depth-of-field exposure; the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Understanding each of them and how they affect each other is crucial to determining the proper amount of exposure to your photography and lighting. The majority of modern cameras come with the ability to measure how much light is being absorbed by the sensor and determine the ideal exposure for your photo. A majority of cameras have the “Auto” option that can adjust the shutter speed, aperture as well as ISO to your specifications. To go beyond your AUTO Mode and get good photographs, you must know the basics of framing, exposure, and focus, as well as the ability to alter your camera’s settings in order to achieve the desired result.


This is the lens’s opening which allows light to be reflected off the sensor. When you look at the settings of cameras, the aperture is known as F-stop, and it is shown as F8.0 or f/2.8. The F-Stop value is in relation to the dimension of the lens’ opening, and lower numbers signify more apertures which allow more light into the camera. Sometimes, the term “aperture value” is used in lieu of the F-stop number. Aperture determines what’s focused (depth-of-field). A low F-stop is utilized to concentrate on only one thing blurring the background, and higher F-stops can be used to concentrate on several things simultaneously.

Shutter Speed

This determines what time the shutter remains open to allow light to the sensor. The slower the shutter speed increases the amount of light that is absorbed by the sensor, increasing the exposure of the photo. The speed of the shutter is measured in extremely small increments of time, seconds, and small fractions of seconds. Infractions of seconds with greater denominators mean faster shutter speeds. For the majority of photos taken with a handheld camera, shutter speeds of 1/60 of a second or more are the best. Since it’s very difficult to keep an image camera with perfect stability for long periods of time, slower speed (longer exposure duration) frequently results in blurry photographs. Some cameras feature image stabilization that helps in reducing camera shake. Additionally, using a tripod is a great idea when you require longer exposure to capture your imagination.


This is the sensitivity to light of the sensor in a digital camera. Film ISO cannot be adjusted by the camera. However, the film is available with a variety of ISO values. A higher ISO value means that the camera’s sensor is “getting more” than what light gets. A higher ISO settings are suitable in low-light conditions and when you require your camera’s capabilities to make the maximum possible use of light sources feasible. Low ISO settings are recommended when there’s ample light. The higher the ISO higher, there is more background noise (grain or grain, as in the film) you’ll get in your image. In general, it is recommended to select the lowest ISO setting, which will ensure adequate exposure.

Because F-stop and shutter speed influences the quantity of light that is received by the sensor, ISO determines the sensor’s sensitivity to light and can be adjusted to achieve the perfect exposure.

Like any other skill of photography, it requires lots of practice; most of the top wedding photography and sports photography images were captured after learning and working for years. However, the joy of taking stunning photographs that are artistic is worth the effort of trial and error.