3. Exposure

Exposure is determined by the shutter speed and aperture; it is the quantity of light reaching the film or digital film (in most cases today it will be digital). If your shutter speed and aperture match with the right exposure, you would come out with a “perfect” photo essentially. In exposure you have “overexposed” and “underexposed”.


Overexposed is when there is a  loss of highlight detail, meaning when important bright parts of an image are “washed out” or effectively all white, known as “blown out highlights”.


Underexposed is when there is not enough shadow detail, when important dark areas are “muddy” or indistinguishable from black. The photo is not lit properly, causing all detail to fall to the waist side, or  known as “blocked up shadows”.


Perfect Exposure will look something like this photograph. You can see how it has perfect highlights along with the right amount of shadow, low lights. This brings out the right amount of the mountains in the back, still showing detail of the clouds in the mountains. It also shows the clouds at a perfect freeze in time, while smoothing out the “death” look in the grass (it being brown/dead like), and creating enough light to lighten the cabin just enough due to its dark exterior.

Photos by:  agent j loves nyc ;  hpulley ; and Stuck in Customs


2. Shutter Speeds

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 The shutter speed is also known as how fast the camera is opening and closing to take the desired photograph. The faster the shutter speed is the more photos it will take at one time. This can mostly be done by holding down the main function button (the button to take the photo). If you are desiring a slower shutter speed you would most often select it to suggest movement in a still photograph of a moving subject (ex: waterfall). If you are desiring a faster shutter speed you would most often select it to suggest a moving subject to appear unnaturally frozen (ex: basketball player jumping in the air to take a shot). This will all depend on what you as the photographer wants to capture to your audience, or which type of audience you are trying to portray. Depending on which ISO (sensitivity to light), Aperture (F-Stop), and shutter speed (time) the photographer uses will make or break the image; there is only so much one can fix in photoshop! It’s all about taking the photo not editing it! Remember that! 🙂

Photos by: Kevin Keatley – MD Wildlife Watching Supplies and dashavolnoukhin

Number 1. Lighting

the angel of the waters

Lighting is the number 1 thing to be thinking of when you are taking a photograph. If the lighting is poor, you will most likely not be able to get the shot successfully! (Hey we all want GREAT photos!) Lighting can be done in many different ways. There is outdoor natural lighting – which is when a photographer only uses the sun as light, nothing else. There is also studio lighting which includes; Split, Loop, Rembrandt, and Butterfly. Split lighting splits the face exactly into equal halves with one side being in the light, and the other in shadow. Split lighting tends to be a more masculine. Loop lighting is made by creating a small shadow of the subjects nose on their cheek. To create loop lighting, the light source must be slightly higher than eye level. Rembrandt lighting is done by the triangle of light on the cheek. Unlike loop lighting where the shadow of the nose and cheek do not touch, in Rembrandt lighting they do meet which, creates that trapped little triangle of light in the middle. Last but not least, Butterfly lighting. This type of lighting creates a butterfly look under the nose by placing the main light source above and directly behind the camera. It is most often used for glamour style shots and to create shadows under the cheeks and chin. So many options, right?! The trick is to look at the subject to see which type of lighting “favors” them.

Photo by: the angel of the waters

4 Key Components for Beginning Photographers

Photography is an always changing and transforming field, but these 4 key components are sure to stick with you through out your photographic life. The main things to always remember are; lighting, shutter speed, exposure, and depth of field. Lighting for instance is what will make your whole photo, whether it be studio “hot lights” or natural lighting from the sun. Lighting and exposure go hand in hand to show a photo properly exposed with no over exaggeration. The shutter speed will be how fast the camera is taking the photo, per seconds. (ex- 1/1000 of a second) The depth of field will then show you which type of emotions/figures you would like portrayed. For example; if you would like to take a photo with a wide angle lens, the more millimeters you zoom in the more you can bring the image to the for front. These are just a few of the first couple key components for beginning photographers to become successful! 🙂