Exposure Triangle

What is Exposure Triangle in Photography?

Hello everyone, This is Ayush Raj, back to you with a new blog. Today we are going to learn about the Exposure Triangle, which most of you are familiar with. But still, be with me!

When we talk about Exposure, what comes in your mind? Exactly, Light. So, where does this light come from, in an image? That’s right, from using aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Now, in photography, getting a decently exposed image which can be controlled by us, is very crucial.

That’s where Exposure Triangle comes in.


Exposure Triangle Explained


As you can see, we pointed out three basic features in the Exposure Triangle Diagram:-

  • ISO
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed


We will learn how to bring out the relationship between these trios to get a well-exposed shot.


  1. ISO ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. Its value is determined by numbers: the lower the number, the lower the sensitivity to light. The lowest value goes to 50 and the highest value goes to 102,400. The important thing to understand is that each step between the numbers effectively doubles the sensitivity of the sensor. If I’m in dim conditions, I can increase the ISO to make my sensor more sensitive to light. If I’m in bright conditions, I can lower my ISO.

ISO 200 > ISO 100 – x2

ISO 400 > ISO 100 – x4

Now, if I compare ISO 400 to ISO 100, it is 4 times more sensitive to light. So, always use ISO carefully since it can bring a drastic change in exposure and grain in your image. Always prefer the lowest ISO value when shooting outdoors. This is the first part of the Exposure Triangle.


Let’s move on to the next element.


2. Shutter Speed = Shutter speed is the length of time light is allowed to hit the sensor.

Shutter speeds are typically measured in fractions of a second when they are under a second. For example, 1/4 means a quarter of a second, while 1/250 means one-two-hundred-and-fiftieth of a second (or four milliseconds). The other important effect of shutter speed is on exposure, which relates to the brightness of an image. If you use long shutter speed, your camera sensor gathers a lot of light, and the resulting photo will be quite bright. By using quick shutter speed, your camera sensor is only exposed to a small fraction of light, resulting in a darker photo.

Shutter Speed


3. ApertureWe often want our camera’s aperture to work like the pupils in our eyes. In bright light, our pupils become small to limit the amount of light that we see. In the dim light, our pupils get large to let in as much light as possible and increase how much we can see.

In photography, we call it aperture. Aperture and shutter speed work together to determine how much light hits the sensor. I can set my aperture and use shutter speed to balance the light. Or I can set the shutter speed and use aperture to balance the light. Aperture controls how much light hits my camera’s sensor. It also controls how much of the scene is in focus. This is called the depth of field (DOF). A wide DOF means that more of the scene is in focus. A shallow DOF means only some of the scene is in focus. In terms of aperture, f2.8 will generally have a shallower depth of field than a smaller aperture like f16. More of the scene will be in focus at f16, but f2.8 might give me a beautifully blurred background (bokeh).


What are Stops?


For any given exposure, if one of the three variables change, you must adjust one (or both) of the others in the opposite direction. For example, if you decided to decrease your shutter speed by two stops, you will need to increase your aperture or ISO by two stops. You could also change both aperture and ISO by one stop with the same effect. As another example, say you increased your ISO by four stops. Then you would need an equivalent decrease of four stops in aperture or shutter speed (or a combination of the two). It sounds a little confusing, never mind. Watch the below diagrams to understand better and process it. Ask me freely wherever you have any doubts or didn’t understand.




ISO in Photography





Aperture in Photography

For Aperture




Shutter Speed in Photography

For Shutter Speed



You can contact me on my Instagram – @the.untamed.photographer if any queries!

You can have more posts on photography soon on our blog. Stay tuned.


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