*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 3 : ISO

exposure trifecta iso

Rounding out our Exposure Trifecta is our ISO.  We discussed Aperture here, Shutter Speed here and with ISO we finalize this three pronged, exposure equation.

Understanding when and how to manipulate your exposure might be a little tricky to fathom at first, but I’m hoping that after this series, you’ll have a very good grasp on how these three factors can be used to capture an image in any situation.

We’ll look not only at ISO specifically, but we’ll tie in all three and explain how, why and when to adjust them in concert to achieve proper exposure.  C’mon in…

Continue reading

*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 2 : Shutter Speed

freebie photography 101 exposure trifecta shutter speed


Welcome to part 2 of our Freebie Photography series where we are exploring the Exposure Trifecta.  In our first installment, we discussed the aperture of a lens and how it affects both the light through a lens, and the depth of field when adjusted. If you missed it, you can read Part 1 HERE.

Today, we’ll go over the second of our three primary exposure functions, our shutter speed.

Continue reading

*Freebie Photography 101, the Exposure Trifecta Part 1 : Aperture

exposure trifecta aperture part 1

Welcome to a new series on the blog, FREEBIE PHOTOGRAPHY 101 where we will explore both technical and artistic aspects of photography and our cameras.  The aim with the Exposure Trifecta (the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO value) is to learn how to better understand and control our exposure manually through examples and exercises to gain a better grasp on some of the seemingly daunting exposure modes and tools involved.  I’ll add articles about metering, exposure compensation, white balance and other often automated, yet powerful to understand settings that our cameras provide us the ability to control as time goes on as well.  It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting with a phone camera or a fifty thousand dollar medium format machine, understanding how an exposure is created, how a camera works while perhaps overwhelming at first, is easy, it really is.  With just a little time and effort, you’ll be understanding the hows and whys of different photographic effects and how to apply them in different situations.

When starting this blog 5 years ago, I did it to help friends and family who were interested in photography, to share techniques, and help answer questions I’d field to better understand basic photographic principals.  The site has grown and evolved into what you see today, chalk full of camera, lens and software reviews, gear-centric comparison pieces, lighting explanations or post processing tutorials, travel ramblings and editorial articles for the design collective I work with.

As is the cyclical nature of life, I’ve recently been having more and more conversations lately with friends and friends of friends who have shown interest in better understanding these powerful image creation tools and I thought it would be a good opportunity to refresh my original Exposure Trifecta article, written over 5 years ago.  Getting back to the roots as it were, and perhaps act as an introduction to some new friends we’ve gathered along the way here on the site.  So, grab your camera and a cup of coffee, we’re gonna have some fun.

If you feel like you could use a refresher, would like to add your input, or know someone just starting out or looking to better understand the Exposure Trifecta of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO sensitivity, come one, come all.  Through my amazing ability to ramble on, and the community we’ve built through this site, we’ll get you sorted and knowing how, and when to adjust these exposure variables to understand how to completely control your photographic vision. C’mon in… Continue reading

*Sunny 16 and the Moony 8. Shootin’ the moon.

Most of us have heard of the Sunny 16 rule by where the rule of thumb for “proper” exposure on a sunny day would be setting your aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed to 1 / x, where X = your ISO setting.  Basically, at f/16 and shooting at ISO 100, we would set our shutter speed to 1/100 and you’d be set (1/200 at ISO 200, etc).  Of course there are other variables to take into consideration depending on your desired outcome or subject, but it gets you close enough.  Well, after some trial and error (emphasis on the latter) I came to realize that when shooting the moon, I was having a very hard time properly exposing it.  Wanting to eliminate as much noise as possible, I was shooting at lower ISOs and after some more trial I found that I was coming in at about f/5.6- f/8 when spot metering and compensating for the extra brightness (I figured I should account for about 2 full stops over midtone) with the same one over rule as the Sunny 16…  This got me wondering if there was in fact a night shooters rule of thumb, and there in fact is…

Continue reading

*The Exposure Trifecta. Or, how to shoot on Manual.

Have you ever taken a photo where your subject looks like a deer in the headlights from the flash while the ambiance in the scene behind them fades quickly to a black abyss?  Or, you try to catch your child scurrying around the house and no matter what you do, the picture turns out as a blurred mess?  This post is being written to help those (mainly my mom) who’ve asked me “how do you do that?” when they see a picture that avoids some of the common frustrating problems.  Whether it be a selective focus, blurred action to accentuate movement or an image that is intentionally over or underexposed, the key to photography is understanding the three main components of proper exposure control.  Hold on to your hat, I am going to help get you off of the ‘auto everything box’ and manipulating your own exposure in no time. Continue reading