tisdag 21 juli 2015

Photo tips: Light - aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed

Hi there! In this part I'm going to talk about how to get the perfect light by putting together aperture, shutter and ISO speed. I've put a little cheat sheet in the summary with an example of when these three things work good together but every photo can be different so read and see how you can get the light in your photo exactly as you want it! I also say a few things about DOF because it's also something that you change with aperture.


In most cameras you will see what aperture you are using on the display. It's most of the time an 'f' before a number. You might see it like f8 or with any other number. Aperture is the thing that decides how much or little light your sensor gets. It does this by covering an area of your lens. A high f-value (or aperture value) covers less of your lens than a lower f-value.

The f-value is measured in the following numbers: 1 1,4 2 2,8 4 5,6 8 11 16 22 32

Most cameras analyses the lighting and gives you an example of f-value that it thinks might work well, but it might not always work. Aperture can make your photos overexposed or underexposed because it's controlling the amount of light your sensor gets. Because of this, you might need to know how the numbers work. It's pretty simple: every time you move a number higher (to the right) your sensor will get half the amount of light it had at the previous number.

Depth of field (DOF)
There is two kinds of DOF. Small DOF (shallow focus), this gives you a blurry background and/or foreground and makes the motive "pop". Big DOF (deep focus) is usually used in landscape photos, the whole photo is sharp from foreground to background. You change DOF by changing your f-value according to the following rules:

→ A big f-value gives a small DOF
→ A small f-value gives a big DOF

Using f11
Using f4















Shutter speed

Shutter speed is basically how long time your cameras shutter is open. You can probably find this in the display, it looks like the number one divided with another number. Example or shutter speed is 1/30 (one thirtieth of a second), 1/100 (one hundredth of a second), 1/400 (one hundredth of a second). There is a lot of different shutter speeds.

A fast shutter speed will freeze your photo fast. It's good to use a high shutter speed if you want a sharp photo of a sport, something falling or anything moving that you want to be sharp. Lower shutter speed can be used if you for example want to take a photo in a crowded street and want show the peoples movement: instead of freezing them in a step and get a sharp photo of them you will see them more like a blurred line of movement.

Using 1/800
Using 1/1200 (with flash)

ISO speed

When you use a high ISO your camera get more sensitive to light. A high ISO is therefore preferable when it's darker but if you use a too high ISO your photo might end up overexposed. When you use a high ISO your photo might also end up noisy or grainy. You would probably want to keep your settings to the lowest ISO possible, especially if you don't use a stative in a dark area.

A higher ISO will make your shutter speed longer and as you already know that can make your photo blurry if something moves. You will have to remember that even if you have a motive that doesn't move and some form of stative you can't just stop caring about your ISO. It can still get under- or overexposed or grainy so remember to keep an eye on your ISO.

Using ISO 800
Using ISO 400