Getting exposure correct

Exposure is at the heart of photography, its the fundamental part in how your photograph will be processed. Photography is exposure, it influences the way in which movement is portrayed, also it enables selected parts of the photo be sharp or providing the bokeh look that ensures the specific detail the photographer wishes to be sharp, it can also be the difference between a high contrast photo or if you prefer high exposure photography, where certain areas are overexposed, all of this depends on how you wish the image to look, you are the artist, you are the professional, clients book you to capture their wedding because they love your work and you particular style.

As previously mentioned setting your camera to Auto, means that you have absolutely no say in any of this, thats why many of the photographs taken in auto mode won't set the heart racing, they look very average.

However when you switch that little dial and move away from the Auto mode your photography will change, you are telling this tool, I want the image to look like this!

You then begin taking the exposure to extremes, this is where photography gets exciting, you are no longer just snapping away, you are on the road to becoming a true photographic artist with your photography!

This is when photography gets exciting, your images take on a whole new look, you are now taking control of the exposure, you look at a scene, a portrait and you can decide how you wish the finished photo to look, really photography is all about one thing and thats getting the right amount of light to the sensor to produce the image you want; and thats just it, its the photo you want, photography is very subjective, you may have viewed other photographers work and didn't like the style, i'm not talking about a poor image but the particular style.

I personally love beautifully exposed photos, I love to look at a scene and then capture what i'm seeing, the photo attached with this blog was one such scene, this photo of my wife was taken in November on a very cold day in somerset, however the lake behind was bouncing the available light, I knew how I wanted the image to look therefore I opened the aperture to f1.4 letting masses of light onto the censor, then selected a shutter speed of 1/13000 a very fast shutter speed to reduce the time this light was allowed to hit the censor and this produced this high exposure looking photograph, the effect makes it look as if it was taken on a Mediterranean holiday but trust me it was taken in the uk! The final effect was just how I wanted the final photo to look. (Subjective)

So before we get down to the real details, this is one important thing to remember here:

Photography isn't like mathematics, there's is no right and wrong answer with regards to perfect exposure, its what you think is right and what you think is not right when talking about the perfect exposure, it simply means the one that gives you the result you want.

You are about to photograph a beautiful Bride and the sunlight is coming through the trees, creating a halo effect about her hair, you want to capture this perfect moment, the light, you decide how you want the final image to look, again its subjective!

Since the beginning or invention of photography. There is whats known as the "Holy Trinity" of exposure, it is the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Aperture: This is simply a hole in the lens that can be varied in size. A small hole, BIG NUMBER allows a small amount of light through the lens, while a large hole , SMALL NUMBER allows more light to pass through the lens.

Shutter speed: Your camera has a shutter that opens to allow light to reach the sensor, the amount of time that the shutter is open is the 'shutter speed," which is measured in fractions of a second. The longer or slower the shutter speed, the longer the sensor is exposed to the light passing through the lens.

ISO: Together, the aperture and shutter speed control how much light is allowed to reach your sensor and for how long, which is the basis of making an exposure. However, a third control is needed to determine how much light the sensor requires to start with. This control is the ISO, which determines how sensitive the sensor is to light.

Making minor adjustments to any of these dependent on the situation will provide you with an exposure, its up to you as the photographer, the artist to choose what it is you want in order to produce the image you are wishing to capture!

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