Photographers Creed: This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My camera is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life….. So on and so forth, you get it, you have to know your camera.

Your camera is a box with a door (the shutter) that allows light in to burn an image on a light sensitive surface. ‘Exposure’ refers to the amount of light to which the film–or the sensor–is exposed.

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Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are the holy trinity of photography.

ISO, don’t get all worked up over the acronym and what it means ( International Organization  for Standardizatoin). ISO refers to the ‘Speed’ at which film-or a sensor-absorbs light. On a sunny day you’d use ISO 100, it’s a ‘slow’ ISO but since there is soooo much light it can absorb it easily. A ‘fast’ ISO like 1600 you’d prob use a dusk or sunset. ISO is the first thing I set on my camera when going out to shoot, unless the light changes I can set it and forget it.

Fells Point 045 copyF-Stop: f/7.1 Exposure Time: 15 sec. ISO Speed: 100

Here’ s the quick and dirty, the aperture is the size of the hole through which the light passes on the way to the sensor.   It belongs in the lens rather than the camera body. Making the aperture larger allows in more light; making it smaller allows in less light. Aperture is measured in ‘f stops’ with slightly odd numbers attached. F2.8 is a relatively wide aperture size. If we halve the size and therefore the amount of light, we talk about ‘going down a stop’ to f4. The higher the f-stop number, the smaller the diameter of the aperture. Aperture not only controls exposure (how bright/dark an image is) but determines depth of focus.

Fire pit copyF-Stop: f/3.2 Exposure time: 1/20 sec. ISO Speed: 1250

As previously mentioned, the shutter is like the door. Most of the time the door is closed, but every now and then, when you press the shutter button, it opens. The longer it stays open, the more light it lets in. Shutter speeds vary greatly from  1/8000, 1/4000, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1 or -1, -2 etc. Aside from exposure, shutter speed is important in allowing the photographer to blur or freeze movement.

SOTR 3 copyF-stop: f/3.5 Exposure time: 1/40 sec. ISO Speed: 3200

SOTR- Jimmie copyF-Stop: f/3.5 Exposure Time: 1/125 ISO Speed: 3200

ISO, aperture, and shutter speeds all work on the principle of ‘stops’, a standard measure of light that is most easily tracked in half or double increments.

For ISO and shutter speed, this is fairly straightforward. ISO 400 (a good ISO for a heavily cloudy day) is a stop ‘faster’–or twice as light absorbent–as ISO 200. A shutter speed of 1/250 is twice as fast 1/125 and therefore lets in half the amount of light.

For aperture, only the numbers are confusing–the principle remains the same. F11 allows in half as much light as f8 since it is one stop ‘smaller’.

Ellicott City 068F-Stop: f/2.7 Exposure time: 1/5 sec. ISO Speed: 800

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