What is image exposure?

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Exposure, if explained in plain English, is referred to the amount of light collected by your camera sensors in one one picture. Your Exposure settings are responsible to make your photos look too dark or washed out. The long exposure will give a washed-out look whereas, short exposure will give a darker color tone.

Most of cameras these days have built-in light meters that measure the light in a given surrounding and automatically set an ideal exposure for you. But, you should not always depend on automatic exposure settings. By tweaking it yourself, you can click much better photos.

There are three primary controls to set exposure. They are:

Shutter speed

Aperture

ISO settings.

Shutter Speed : The amount of time the sensor is exposed to light. Or in simple words, it is the amount of time that the shutter is open. The speed is measured in seconds and fractions of it. For example 1/2000 of a second is very fast and 8′ seconds is extremely slow. The fast speed freeze subjects in midair whereas slow speed can be used to blur water.

Aperture : The size of the lens opening that lets light into the camera. In simple term it is the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. The aperture is measured in f/stops. A wide aperture is f/2.8 and a narrow aperture is f/19. The aperture controls the depth of the image / field. It captures what is in focus. Many times you see images where background is blurred whereas the subject is clear. It is done via wide aperture i.e. low f/stop. Whereas a narrow aperture (high f/stop) ensures that everything in a picture is focused.

ISO Setting: ISO represents the measure of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. It is measured in numbers like 100, 200, 400, 800 1600 etc. The lower the number the lower the sensitivity. Lower ISO ensures fine pictures and high ISO will give you a grainy picture.

All the above controls are inter-related. Changes in one will have an impact over the other. So, exposure is all about how these three controls relate to light and how your camera interacts and reacts to these settings.

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