It’s easy to get lost in the world of camera settings and exposure, but in reality, there are just a handful of key concepts that you need to know. In this course, we’ll explore them all.

The exposure triangle is the concept that three factors impact your image when it comes to exposure: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.

Those three factors work together in concert. If you change one, you have to change one or both of the others to compensate.

We’ll start by looking at what these terms mean and how they’re used. Then we’ll dive into practical examples where you can see these concepts in action.

Throughout this guide, we’ll take a look at industry best practices and tips that will help you improve your images when it comes to exposure.


exposure triangle

What Is the exposure triangle?

Briefly, the exposure triangle is a visual representation of three elements that affect the exposure of a photograph: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

You can also think of them as controlling how much light enters the camera, how long that light stays in the camera, and how sensitive to light the camera’s sensor is.

The exposure triangle is a tool for understanding exposure and combining these three elements so you can take photos that are correctly exposed every time.

By understanding how each of these elements affects exposure (and therefore your image), you will be able to take photos that are correctly exposed every time.



What Is The Exposure Triangle?

The Exposure Triangle is the relation between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. ISO is the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light.

The lower the ISO value, the less sensitive to light it is.

So a high ISO value will result in a brighter photo as you’re basically amplifying or boosting the signal coming from your sensor.

Image noise can be defined as flaws in an image caused by electronic or physical factors. The higher the ISO, the more image noise will appear in your photo.

Image noise looks like grain and/or discoloration or blotches in your images and it can be quite distracting when shooting at a high ISO especially if you are trying to capture a scene in low light.

Image noise can also be quite distracting when shooting certain scenes like a smooth blue sky for example.

In contrast when you use a low ISO setting (100-200) there is very little image noise and this makes for a smooth looking photo with nice colors.

However with a low ISO you are losing out on getting enough light into your sensor for proper exposure so this means that you have to push your aperture, or use a slower shutter speed (this, of course, will result in having more blurry images).


The Exposure Triangle In Photography

The exposure triangle of photography is a great way to think about how different settings affect your camera’s output. By mastering the three elements — aperture, shutter speed and ISO — you can ensure that you’re getting the results you want from your input.

Full Manual Mode

The exposure triangle is a valuable tool for the photographer who wants to take full control over the final image. It allows photographers to understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they all affect an image.


Aperture is the size of opening in the lens that allows light into the sensor. Think of it as a pupil in your eye. In low light situations, your pupils open up to let in more light.

That’s exactly what happens with a camera during low-light situations: Your lens’ aperture opens wider to let in more light and make sure you get a good exposure.

This can be done automatically by your camera or manually by using a smaller f-stop number on your lens, such as f/2.8 or f/4.0. Aperture also controls depth of field, which refers to how much of an image is in focus.

The more shallow the depth of field, the less of an image will be in focus.

The Exposure Triangle In Filmmaking

If you’re new to filmmaking and have never heard the term “exposure triangle”, then this article is for you. We’ll break down what it is and how it can help you get the best exposure for your footage in post-production, or even on the set, depending on your camera.

The exposure triangle is a fundamental concept that every filmmaker should know. It’s basically the three settings that affect how much light reaches your camera’s sensor, which directly correlates to the amount of exposure your footage has.

The three settings are aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

Aperture: How much light passes through the lens depends on your aperture setting. Aperture is measured in “f-stops” and can go from f/0.5 to f/32 (although most DSLRs support around f/1.4 to f/16).

When you change your aperture, you are adjusting the size of your lens opening.

The larger the number (like f/2), the smaller the opening inside of your lens becomes and less light passes through it. The smaller the number (like f/16), the larger the opening gets and more light passes through it.

The higher your ISO, the more sensitive your image sensor becomes to light.

The Triangle Of Exposure Variables

The triangle of exposure variables, also called the Rule of Thirds, is a powerful way to make a compelling photo.

Understanding Photography Exposure Via A Metaphor

If you want to learn how to take a great photo, you first need to learn about exposure. The same rules that govern film exposure also apply to digital cameras, so this article will help you understand how to take great photos.

Trying to make sense of exposure can be hard for anyone that has never worked with it before. There are many different variables and controls at work. It’s not always easy to know what settings or what combination of settings will give you the results you desire.

But there is a way to make it easier; by using a simple metaphor.

In this guide I will suggest that you imagine photography exposure as a cup of coffee. The amount of light is the main ingredient, the cup represents the aperture, the coffee itself represents your shutter speed, and finally our spoon represents our ISO setting.

In reality, your camera’s main settings are shutter speed, aperture and ISO sensitivity but they all relate back to light and therefore this coffee cup metaphor works well!

The Cup: The aperture of a camera is commonly referred as the lens opening or more simply the f-stop. Aperture controls how much light reaches the sensor (or film) inside your camera when you take a picture.

What Is The Exposure Triangle Composed Of?

The exposure triangle is composed of three elements. These are ISO (International Organization for Standardization), aperture, and shutter speed.

An exposure triangle can be created in any camera, but the basic principle remains the same.

The exposure triangle is a useful tool, primarily because it is so easily understood. With only three elements to consider, you can know exactly what effect each setting will have on your final image.

ISO is the simplest to understand, as it directly relates to film speed. In the old days, film had a limited sensitivity to light and photographers had to select a film that would best suit their lighting conditions.

To push their film beyond its limits, photographers would use flash or increase the amount of light hitting the film by opening their aperture or slowing down the shutter speed. Increasing ISO sensitivity allowed them to use lower light levels without adding additional lighting sources.

The next stage of understanding the exposure triangle was when digital cameras started coming onto the market. Digital sensors have an almost limitless level of sensitivity to light and so ISO no longer needs to be altered manually.

However, it remains a useful tool for setting up your shot as you can alter your desired depth of field and shutter speed while maintaining a consistent ISO value if required.

What Is The Exposure Triangle? Aperture, ISO And Shutter Speed

The exposure triangle is the concept of ISO, aperture and shutter speed working together to achieve a proper exposure. These three tools are at your disposal to achieve correctly exposed images in any situation.

Taken from my own experience, I have found that it is a bit tricky to understand how these 3 elements relate to one another. The exposure triangle can be a difficult concept to grasp especially if you mainly deal with automatic modes on your camera.

However, understanding this concept can help you take better photographs that require proper exposure settings such as landscapes and portraits.

To start out, let’s understand what each element means:

ISO – ISO refers to the sensitivity of your camera sensor.

The higher the number, the more sensitive to light it will be. The lower the number, the less sensitive and therefore, more “resistant” to light it will be.

Most entry-level DSLR cameras have an ISO range of 100-1600 while professional level cameras can go as high as 25600.

You will have a hard time finding a DSLR camera with an ISO under 100 because that would mean it has no sensitivity to light and you would get black photos.

Shutter Speed – Pretty self explanatory. Shutter speed refers to how long your shutter remains open to expose light onto your camera.

How The Exposure Triangle Works – Connecting The Settings

The exposure triangle is a model used to describe how the three camera settings influence each other. The three settings that make up the exposure triangle are:

Shutter speed Aperture ISO. When you want to change any of these settings, you need to adjust the others in order to maintain the same image brightness.

If you change one setting, another setting must change as well.

The shutter speed controls the length of time light can enter the camera. When you change your shutter speed, it will affect your aperture and ISO settings as well.

Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of seconds, with 1 second being equal to 1/60th of a minute.

The aperture controls the size of the opening inside your lens. It is measured using f-stops, which are fractions that represent how much light passes through your lens.

The smaller the number, the larger the opening in your lens and vice versa. For example, an aperture of f/2 represents a larger aperture than an aperture of f/16 (the larger number).

The ISO refers to how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. A lower ISO is more sensitive to light than a higher ISO setting.

This means that when you increase your ISO from 100 to 200, you have made your camera more.

The Exposure Triangle Basic Camera Settings

The exposure triangle is one of the first things you learn in photography. It’s a simple concept, but mastering it can really make your photos pop!

What is the Exposure Triangle?

The exposure triangle is a visual representation of how an image is exposed. The three parts of the triangle show the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Each of these elements affects the exposure, which refers to how light or dark an image appears.

We can adjust any one of these three elements to change the amount of light that reaches our camera sensor. But, when we change one element, we must also change one or both of the other elements to maintain a correct exposure.

For example, if we want to use a faster shutter speed than what we’re currently using (let’s say 1/60th), then we will have to either open up our aperture (let’s say from f/8 to f/5.6) or increase our ISO (from 100 to 200).

Maintaining a correct exposure means keeping all three elements in balance so that you can see detail in both the highlights and shadows in your image.

The Triangle Of Exposure – Wrapping Up

The Triangle of Exposure™, is a simple and easy tool for building customer loyalty and making sure that your customers feel important, from start finish. By reminding your customers how much you appreciate their business, you will be able to build goodwill and strengthen relationships, which ultimately leads to more sales!