I have recently become curious about photography, which I consider art. They say a photo can capture 1,000 words, and that is so true. I have come across various photos of things that literally made my jaw drop. Even something we never cared to pay attention to, like cracked in mud, had a lasting impression on me. As such, naturally, my curious mind thought about looking into photography from a complete beginner standpoint (I don't even own a camera, other than my cell phone). In this ongoing guide, I will create new articles focusing on different subject matter that beginners should at the very least be aware of. As I progress in no particular order, each article will be titled XYZ Part 1, 2, 3 etc. This installment obviously is Part 1 - Exposure Triangle.

Photo of cracked mud
Sometimes looking down we can capture something unique

Exposure Triangle contains three main components:

  1. Aperture
  2. Shutter speed
  3. ISO


Aperture is the circular opening that allows in more light. Settings are called f stops. The smallest f stops, i.e. f/2.5, mean larger openings. As you move across the f/stop settings, each larger f/stop lets in half the amount of light from the previous setting.

Aperture also affects photos from another point called the Depth of Field, which is the amount of blur in your photo. The smaller the f/stop setting, the more blur is applied, known as "shallow depth of field."

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed controls the length of the sensor that is exposed to light. The less the shutter is open; the less light gets through to the sensor. As you minimize the length, the half amount of light gets to the center. Faster shutter speed will freeze the motion in your picture, and slower shutter speed will give you more blur in motion.


ISO controls how much light is needed to make the image. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive it is to light. The lower the ISO number, the more light is needed to make the image, and in the opposite scenario, the higher ISO, the less light to make the image. Setting the camera to higher ISO means you can take photos of images with a lot less light. The more ISO, the more noise is present; that's why we don't shoot in higher ISO all the time.

These three settings work in tandem to control the amount of light taken in, the length of the shutter opening, and the sensor's sensitivity.

In the above screenshot, whenever you move one of the settings up, you compensate by moving the others down. This will ensure all three elements are working in tandem with each other.

In summary, understanding and grasping the Exposure Triangle will have a profound effect on your photographs. The only real way to learn is to experiment. Prior to my own experimentation, I will need to look into a middle-of-the-pack camera, and before even that, I would like to understand the basics first, then think about purchasing. By following that structure, I can then confidently purchase a camera that will supplement my photographic style. I don't have a clue about cameras or their features, but I will learn and pass that knowledge onto you.

This experiment may take time, but it's something I would like to dig into. If you are interested in this journey join me by subscribing and follow along.