DSLR Basics Day 1 - exposure and aperture control

A week to improve your digital photography: Day 1 Exposure and Aperture

Pick up your camera, check the battery and memory cards. If you need to, format and charge...

Setting: Manual
Lens: Manual Focus

Find your aperture control function,  on most dslr’s you’ll find it at the front of the camera near to the capture button.

Have a look through the viewfinder or screen, you should see a line, if it doesn’t appear in the viewfinder check the manual and screen options.

The point you see on the line is exposure, if it’s above the centrepoint, your image will be overexposed and if it’s under, your image will be… you got it, underexposed.

If you’re over or under, you will want to  change the aperture, this can be done by turning the aperture control function.

Now move around, find an area of darker light, focus your lens on a point and notice where the exposure disappears, adjust the aperture until you make it back to the midpoint.

You may notice a little number next to the line, on most dslr’s this will be your shutter speed and the value is normally the fraction at which the shutter moves per second. So if the value is low, it means that there is less light coming in through the lens and the shutter speed will be slow and you may need a tripod. Whereas if it’s a high value it indicates that the lens is letting a lot of light in and the shutter speed will be fast.

 For this example, the camera is telling me that it will capture in these conditions at a 60th of a second but the exposure will be under exposed.

Whereas looking at this view the shutter speed is a 20th of a second at a neutral exposure.

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