home  ::  all lessons  ::  lesson series  :: Understanding Exposure


As newer, better, faster digital cameras enter the market, many of us who were hesitant at first are now taking the plunge into the world of digital imaging. Along with the promise of more resolution and better color reproduction comes the myth that photography no longer needs to be a manual process. Today, many newcomers to photography cannot resist but to set their top-of-the-line digital SLR to the Program mode and postpone learning about any of the other modes or basic settings available to them.

In reality, even with the most advanced camera systems and software, photography has not changed much since the day that the very first photographic image was recorded. To this day we are still painting with light, albeit using a much more advanced arsenal of tools.

In this lesson, we will take you all the way back to the basics. We will explore the fundamental, manual process that makes photography what it is, "painting with light." By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to take full control over your camera settings including shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These basic camera settings fall under the umbrella of exposure. Understanding exposure is the first and most important step to unleashing your full photographic and artistic potential.

(Most images can be clicked for an enlarged view.)

Topics Covered:

  • How Cameras Work
  • Understanding the Digital SLR
  • The Aperture
  • Exploring Depth of Field
  • The Shutter Speed
  • The ISO Setting
  • The Light Meter
  • Tying It All Together

Equipment Used:



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