Learn the photography basics about exposure triangle

The concept of the Exposure Triangle and how it will turn your photos from normal to stunning.

Photographs are pieces of art that are produced through intricate methods and careful steps. They can be decoration or wall art, and are often a sight to see. There are various aspects to photography, including an acceptable light setting, that work hand in hand to produce a great photograph. Exposure, or the light setting, is key to a good photo as it controls the amount of emphasis on the subject, as well as its background. The exposure triangle – a common way to associate the three variables that will affect the exposure of a photo– includes: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. In order to achieve the best exposure, the photographer must balance all three of these settings in his/her camera. These settings will also contribute to the overall appearance and drama of the photo, and thus it is a requirement to study them carefully. Read on and find out more about each:


ISO is a setting wherein you can manipulate how sensitive the sensor of the camera is against light. Basically, when you increase the ISO value, you would be able to work on areas with low light. However, doing so creates a drawback – the higher the value of ISO, the higher the noise on the photograph, which in turn could ruin the sharpness of it. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance.



This is the measurement of how open the camera lens’ iris is. The measurement unit is called f, (aka f-stop). If there is wide aperture (lower f-stop), this will mean that there will be more light allowed to enter the camera lens. On the other hand, a narrow aperture (higher f-stop) allows lesser light to enter the camera lens. Allowing more light in (increasing aperture, or lesser f-stop value) creates a lower depth of field. The depth of field is the amount of area that is focused on. This is essential for photography, depending on the type of photo you are taking. As an example, you would want to have a wider aperture if you are taking portraits, on the other hand, narrower aperture is best if you are taking a landscape photograph.


Shutter speed

This is the measurement of how long the shutter will be open until it turns off and takes the photo. This, in turn, provides the time on how long the sensor is exposed to light. Faster shutter speeds will result into less exposure, while slower shutter speeds create the opposite. But you cannot simply set slower shutter speeds to gain more exposure because the slower the shutter speed is, the longer the camera records the position of the elements in the subject. In this regard, any movement on any of these elements will result in unwanted blurs on your photo.

Apart from the exposure triangle, there are also some other essential settings that you will want to take note of. These include:



This is an exposure setting that dictates the most optimal exposure. Normally, this function is used by taking all three settings (Decreased, Standard, and Increased settings) to see which of these has the most significant impact on the photo. This function mainly helps in post processing where it can decrease the time for photo editing.


Overexposure / Underexposure

Though the right exposure is quite subjective, there will be instances that a photo with an incorrect exposure setting will yield a non-usable output. Basically the underexposed photo results in a dark output, no subject / element can be seen and cannot be retrieved. On the other hand, the overexposed will be too bright, thereby ruining the subject or any other elements that you would want to focus on.

As said, photography is a tedious and methodical work of art. To create the desired output, all of the above settings must be considered and balanced accordingly.