I started this blog in order teach people how to use their digital SLRs better. Unfortunately, the blog format isn’t always conducive to lessons, since blogs read in reverse order and when you’re learning something you want to start at the beginning. If you want to work your way through the material in the order it was presented, use this page. There’s also an Index of entries that lists material outside of the normal scope of exposure lessons.
How your camera works: this is a six-year-old’s view of what’s happening inside your camera when you take a picture.
The three things that go into exposure: When you take a picture, there are three basic things you can control to affect whether the resulting image is too dark, too light, or just right. Here’s what they are.
Shutter speed, how it works: The basics of shutter speed, and what different speeds look like.
Shutter speed, why you care: Some cool effects you can get by changing the shutter speed.
How your camera works– the meter: Your camera is pretty smart, and it’s good at guessing how to get the picture right. Here’s how that works.
How your camera works– exposure modes: What’s that funny dial on the top of my camera? What does Tv mean?
Exposure modes exercise: OK, this is it. We’re going to take the camera out of automatic mode and try out the controls. It’s scary, but I’ll hold your hand.
Shutter speed exercise: Let’s take some pictures! We’re going to play with different shutter speeds so we can see how they affect the resulting image.
Quick review: A quick summary of what we’ve learned so far.
What’s that f-stop stuff anyway? What aperture is, and why it isn’t so scary.
What does f/8 look like? Visual examples of different f-stops, and a mini-exercise so you can look at your own.
Aperture: Why You Care Depth of field, and the cool effects you can get with it.
Quick Exercise: Focusing Grab the camera and watch how the focus point changes as you turn the ring.
Depth of Field: Another View Let the ruler show you how depth of field works.
Exercise: Depth of Field Get out your camera and try it yourself.
ISO: What is it? What does ISO mean, and how does it work?
ISO: Why You Care Examples of what your images might look like at high and low ISOs, and how to choose the best one for your shot.
Putting it all together
How much more light? How much less? Is f/4 twice as much light as f/2? Is a shutter speed of 1/100 twice as much light as 1/200?
How the settings play together If you change one setting, you have to change another one to get the same exposure.