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  • Arman

The Three Pillars: Photography/Videography PT1

Updated: May 17, 2020

So, once you've got your kit and had a play. It's time to produce some darn good photography/Videography.

Let's dive in, full on crash course!

Three big three factors to exposure and imagery:

Shutter speed:

This, as you may have guessed, is the speed of the shutter. It is measured as fractions of a second - it indicates for how long the camera shutter is open. i.e. One tenth of a second - "1/10" or one hundredth of a second "1/100" - If the denominator increases (the bottom number) the faster the shutter "blinks".

  • Longer the exposure, the more light comes through

  • The shorter the exposure - less light


This is to do with your lens.

It can be either controlled from your camera or directly on the lens.

What is it essentially? A hole you can control the size of - Already that's a lot for some to muster. The apertures gape is made of blades that essentially form a diaphragm, much like the eye.

  • The wider the hole, the more light comes through.

  • The smaller the hole - less light.

  • Simple.

The aperture is measured in something called F-Stops, eg: f1.4, f22, A lower f number denotes a wider opening and high f number denotes a tighter opening.

In the title of a lens, or in the description, the lowest f number is favoured, as it is a valuable variable in photography/cinematography (more on that later)

Now, it doesn't just affect the exposure of the image but also the depth of field - What is seen in the image plane is dependent on the aperture and focal length and its affect on the cone angle of the vessel of light rays.

That "portrait" background blur you hear about, is known to many, as bokeh-licious. (bokeh is the pretty aesthetic aspect of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image)

There is a focus separation from the subject and the background/foreground. It is achieved with a lower f-stop number or a wider aperture.

  • This is considered a shallow depth of field.

If you increase your f-stop, the separation difference from the background and foreground decreases. You gain depth of field

  • This is considered a deep depth of field

Sometimes, you need to go deep. Especially for landscape photography/videography, where it is preferable to have everything in focus.


ISO is the digital equivalent of film sensitivity, as you increase your ISO number, your image will become brighter. However, increasing your ISO does come at a cost. An image captured with high ISO will show a lot of noise and might not be usable.

The three variables mentioned above contribute to over all image exposure and aesthetic. However, it's their relationship with each other and balance which can deliver more fruitful imagery. Before departing for PT2, I'm going to leave with you what the wrong combination of settings can induce.

Let me paint a picture first: It's night time, in the open, on a boat dock (Straight away the photographers and videographers reading this will have a jist of what combination to use)

Below the setting:

Can you picture the image? A screaming "Whyy.."? burning in your head? Mine too.

...Well, just have a look for yourself.

The ISO was so high, the image was rendered useless and unaesthetic. The shutter speed was set to 1/2000th of a second. Spidey-senses tingling - suggesting that it was in "Tv" or shutter priority mode, where the user has complete control over the shutter speed.

The camera was trying to compensate for the dark image by shooting the ISO high to expose the subject correctly.

Either that or the operator bamboozled himself and set everything himself without proper knowledge. On that note, let everything digest. More importantly, have a play and experiment.

Go run 'n' gun and get shooting!


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