PhotographyTips.com - the #1 guide to better conventional and digital photography Become a Member iPhone Posing GuideGuide to Posing the Female Model BookGuide to Posing the Model CD
Search
Login

Member Login

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Flickr
Connect with us on LinkedIn

SPONSORS

Sell Photos Online

FEATURED SITES


The camera's controls

How shutter speed and aperture influence exposure, and much more.


<!--INFOLINKS_OFF--> Controlling the shutter and aperture is as fundamental to photography as controlling the brakes and accelerator of an automobile is to driving.<!--INFOLINKS_ON-->
Controlling the shutter and aperture is as fundamental to photography as controlling the brakes and accelerator of an automobile is to driving.

Although many traditional and digital cameras have several controls over various functions, there are two fundamental controls on any adjustable camera - shutter speed and aperture.

Shutter speed and aperture are used in combination to regulate the amount of light that reaches the film of your traditional camera or your digital camera's sensor (see Exposure), and therefore they govern whether the scene will be properly exposed to make a satisfactory image. Film or a sensor that receives too little light is underexposed, and too much light makes an image overexposed.

A fully-manual camera requires the photographer to adjust both controls to obtain the desired exposure, whereas fully-automatic cameras are able to make the adjustments themselves, determining exposure and setting shutter speed and aperture the moment the shutter release is pressed.


UNDERSTANDING SHUTTER SPEED AND APERTURE IS JUST THE BEGINNING

The controls of some fully-automatic cameras can be over-ridden by the photographer who wishes to control exposure, while others cannot.

Ideally, your camera will permit you to manually control both shutter speed and aperture in order for you to experiment with the different effects achievable by changing their settings.

Anyone who wishes to become proficient as a photographer must have an understanding of how shutter speed and aperture influence exposure. Learning how and why these two controls are adjusted, especially in your own camera, is fundamental to an understanding of photography, and an essential first step on the road to improving the quality of your picture-taking.

<!--INFOLINKS_OFF--> Your camera is an excellent travel companion. Having a firm grasp of what you can do with it means having a good understanding of its controls, most important of which are shutter and aperture controls. <!--INFOLINKS_ON-->
Your camera is an excellent travel companion. Having a firm grasp of what you can do with it means having a good understanding of its controls, most important of which are shutter and aperture controls.

<!--INFOLINKS_OFF-->Understanding the use and function of each of the buttons, dials and switches of your camera will open a new world of photographic creativity for you.<!--INFOLINKS_ON-->
Understanding the use and function of each of the buttons, dials and switches of your camera will open a new world of photographic creativity for you.

YOU CAN CONTROL MORE THAN JUST SHUTTER SPEED AND APERTURE - MUCH MORE

This section of photographytips.com not only provides the information you need to know about these two important, basic controls - shutter speed and aperture. It also delves into the myriad controls and features of today's versatile and complex cameras.

These additional controls include scene modes such as Portrait, Landscape, Sports and Macro modes, and modes such as Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, Focusing controls and other creative capabilities that are provided to you through the intelligent, educated use of them by you.


RELY ON YOUR CAMERA'S INSTRUCTION MANUAL

Whichever camera you have or decide to purchase, we recommend you become familiar with the contents of your camera's manual.

The information on camera controls that you will find here throughout our website is quite comprehensive, but must obviously be generic in nature. Although it will almost undoubtedly apply to your camera (depending on the features it has), we are unable to instruct you on the specific, unique controls of your particular model and how they are operated. One camera model may use a slide when another employs a button while a third model uses a switch or dial to activate a given control. There are just too many differences among makes and models for us to describe them all here.

If you don't have a manual for your camera, write to the manufacturer and request one. If the manufacturer has a website, you are likely to find the information you need there.

<!--INFOLINKS_OFF--> Your owner's manual contains comprehensive explanations and instructions for your camera's controls.<!--INFOLINKS_ON-->
Your owner's manual contains comprehensive explanations and instructions for your camera's controls.

We encourage you to absorb this information and put it into practice. We are certain you will not only begin to confidently make better pictures, but you will know why they are better.

Click on the links below to get started.


Further information...

Shutter

Aperture

Focusing

Exposure
Related topics...

Features of a digital camera