The Balancing Act of Aperture and Shutter Speed

So far in the series we’ve learned that a camera has an aperture in the lens that lets in different amounts light and controls the background’s clarity. The camera also has a shutter that blocks the light until the button is pushed. The shutter controls how long the light passing through the lens will be allowed onto the film (sensor,) and the faster the movement of your subject, the faster the shutter speed needs to be to freeze the action. The combination of how much light, (aperture,) and amount of time, (shutter speed,) create an exposure.

A “correct” exposure means that the balance between aperture and shutter speed leaves your subject not too bright, nor too dark. If your subject is too bright, or overexposed, then too much light was coming through the aperture or the shutter speed was too long. Conversely, if your subject is too dark, or underexposed, then the aperture didn’t let enough light through or the shutter speed was too fast.  But “correct” exposure is truly a subjective opinion.  If you got the shot you wanted, and the subject has the correct amount of light and dark, and is either blurry or not blurry to your liking, then you got the correct exposure.

Next up in the Point-and-Shoot Instructional Series: Part 6 : The Balancing Act of Aperture and Shutter Speed (continued)

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