Would you like to go beyond the Auto shooting mode? Would you like to be able to adjust your exposure settings to stop action, blur backgrounds and take photos in low light?
The Exposure Quick Reference Card will help you understand your ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings the three fundamentals of exposure. It is an exposure workshop in a card.
DOWNLOAD & PRINT
You can download the card and print it out on your inkjet printer or on a 4x6 at the photo lab.
You can carry the card in your camera bag or tape it to the inside top of your camera bag. You can also download it to your cell phone, tablet or computer for quick reference and to help you learn your exposure settings.
4 Learning Advantages of Exposure Quick Reference Card
1. Visual Numbers: Having three sets of different numbers for the three different exposure settings can be confusing. The Exposure Quick Reference Card shows each setting visually next to the number it represents.
Seeing the number for a setting visually makes it easier to understand. Visual is easier to remember like remembering someone’s face but not their name.
2. Exposure Settings Sizes: The numbers for some exposure settings seem to be backwards from what they should be. The largest lens opening number is the smallest lens opening size. ISO settings also seem backwards.
3. What Each Exposure Setting Does: There is also confusion about what each exposure setting does. I have had people ask me, “So the shutter speed controls blurring the background, right?”, or they will say “I should adjust the aperture to stop action, right?” Actually the shutter speed stops action and the aperture blurs the background.
It is like coming home from grocery shopping and putting your ice cream in the oven to keep it cold and a pizza in the refrigerator to cook it. It is really important to know what each exposure setting does and what happens when you adjust it.
4. What Happens When You Adjust the Setting: There is also confusion about which way to adjust the different exposure settings to get the results you want. The Exposure Quick Reference Card shows what happens when you adjust an exposure one way or the other.
Scroll Down for More Pages
The Exposure Quick Reference Card is the first page in the exposure card pdf. If you scroll down you will discover there is also a page about each setting with illustrations and photos to help further explain them.
Let's Take a Look at Each Setting
ISO is the sensitivity to light setting for your digital cameras image sensor.
Setting Your Cameras Sensitivity to Light: You can adjust how sensitive the image sensor is in your digital camera by adjusting the ISO setting. You adjust the ISO for the amount of light you are taking photos in.
Outdoor and Indoor ISO Settings: Outdoors or in bright light you can use lower ISO settings like 100, 200, 400 and 800 ISO. Indoors or in low light you may want to use higher ISO settings like 1600, 3200, 6400 or higher ISO.
● Backwards Numbers: People tell me the numbers for ISO are backwards and that 100 ISO is a lower number so it should need less light than 6400 ISO. I suggest they think of it as the higher the ISO number the higher the sensitivity to light.
● Lower ISO = Lower Sensitivity and Higher ISO = Higher Sensitivity: 100 ISO is a lower number so it is less sensitive to light. 6400 ISO is a higher number so it is more sensitive to light. Lower ISO settings need more light and higher ISO settings need less light. (In low light you want a higher ISO setting which needs less light.)
● Larger vs. Smaller Bucket: We use buckets to illustrate how much light each ISO needs. 100 ISO is represented by a larger bucket to show how 100 ISO needs more light. 6400 ISO is a much smaller bucket to show how much less light is needed to fill it.
● Longer vs. Shorter Time: In my workshops I use actual buckets from an 8 gallon bucket to a 4 gallon, 2 gallon, 1 gallon, 1/2 gallon, 1 quart and 1 pint. I can't show a cup of light so I use the example of filling different sizes of buckets with water. You can see visually that it will take a lot more time to fill an 8 gallon bucket than 1 pint.
● More Time = Longer Exposure: In photography time is measured as your shutter speed. In bright light you can use a lower ISO. In low light you may need a higher ISO that takes less time for a faster shutter speed to avoid subject or camera motion.
● Too Low = Too Slow: In low light if your ISO is too low, your shutter speed will be to slow and you will get a blurry image from camera movement when hand holding your camera. (See example photos above of watch) You may also get blurred subject movement photographing sports indoors using low ISO.
● Image Blur vs. Noise: You usually read about getting more image noise using higher ISO. I would be more concerned about image blur from using too low of ISO. You need your ISO high enough to get a shutter speed fast enough to prevent camera or subject motion. I can reduce image noise using photo software but nothing can be done about image blur.
SHUTTER SPEEDS are fractions of a second.
The Speed the Shutter Opens and Closes: The shutter inside your camera opens and closes in a fraction of a second to let light in to the image sensor.
Adjusting Exposure: The longer the shutter is open the more light it lets in. The shorter time the shutter is open the less light it lets in. You can adjust your shutter speed to adjust your exposure lighter or darker by letting more or less light in.
● Faster Fractions Stop Faster Action. The faster the shutter speed, the faster the action it stops. (See example below of running photos)
● Minimum Shutter Speed: You need a minimum of 1/60th of a second to prevent camera movement when hand holding your camera.
● Subject and Camera Movement: You need a fast shutter speed to stop a moving subject. If you are photographing a non moving subject you still need to pay attention to your shutter speed to make sure it is fast enough to avoid camera movement if you are hand holding your camera.
APERTURE is the size of the opening inside your lens.
Bigger Number = Smaller Opening: Lens opening numbers can be confusing. The larger the number, the smaller the opening. If you turn them into a fraction they make more sense. 1/2 the lens opening is larger than 1/16th of the opening.
Adjusting Exposure: Aperture is also called a lens opening or f stop. The larger the lens opening the more light it lets in. The smaller the lens opening the less light it lets in. You can adjust your lens opening to adjust your exposure lighter or darker.
● Bigger blurs and smaller sharpens: The bigger the opening, the more blurred the background. The smaller the opening, the sharper the background. (See example flower photos)
● Depth of Focus: Depth of focus is how deep the focus extends beyond your point of focus. A larger opening creates a shallower focus which helps blur the background area. A smaller opening creates a deeper focus which helps focus the background area.
EXPOSURE MADE EASY Photography Workshop
Would you like to learn to go beyond Auto?
Would you like to learn how to stop action, blur backgrounds and take photos in low light? Would you like to learn how to set your ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings?
If you answered yes, you will love our Exposure Made Easy photography workshop.
● It teaches exposure in a new way that is quick and easy to understand. You will learn how to set your camera to stop action in the first 20 minutes of the stop action video. This is great for parents photographing kids playing sports.
● You also learn how to adjust your exposure in tricky lighting situations using exposure compensation and the Manual shooting mode.
● We also have bonus videos on how to shoot the moon, use an ISO tripod and blur waterfalls.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the EXPOSURE MADE EASY photography workshop.
JERRY’S PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS AT PRECISION CAMERA
You can take Jerry’s workshops at Precision Camera as well. The Digital Camera Settings Made Easy workshop includes exposure and camera settings. His Learn to See Creatively workshop teaches people how to see creatively which is the secret to taking great photos.
If you would like to learn more about using photo software he also teaches Photoshop 101 and Adobe Lightroom Organizing and Adjusting workshops. He is also available for one on one sessions.
More Photo Tips, Videos & Workshops
CLICK HERE to check us out at EasyPhotoClass.com for more great photography tips, videos and workshops
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