Photography Tutorial For Beginners: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO

Beginner, Intermediate, Photography | 01 Oct, 2012

If you break down your photography into bite sized portions and essentially strip it down to the fundamentals then you really will not have a problem creating more professional photos tailored to exactly as you would like them.

This video is a great learning resource as it is clear and presented in a way that is easy to follow and highlights the three things which affect the exposure of a photograph and these are theaperture, shutter speed and ISO. If you can strike a perfect balance between these three elements you can almost guarantee that you will achieve the right look for the type of photo that you want, as well as getting the correct exposure.

In short the aperture affects the amount of light that comes into the sensor and the depth of field and it is this depth of field which will determine how much of the image is in focus.

The shutter speed is in control of dealing with the length of the exposure so the longer the shutter speed, the more light will come in, and in contrast the shorter the shutter speed, the less light will come into the image. It is also key to determining the amount of blur that appears in the photo so the longer the exposure the more susceptible the image is to blur and camera shaking.

The ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor to light so a lower ISO will mean that the sensor is less sensitive and is therefore going to need more light to expose an image. Higher ISO requires less light to expose the image but will add more noise to it which unfortunately results in color saturation which makes them look unrealistic.

This really is a valuable video to learn from so get your camera out and get learning

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    1. Nice tutorial! May I ask something? I just bought my first DSLR last March 5, it’s Nikon D3100. This question may sound ridiculous, but, I’m gonna ask it anyway. How can I set the aperture, shutter speed & ISO? I mean, what mode should I use, Auto, Manual, Landscape, Aperture. Please tell me cause I really want to know. Btw, its so nice to know that you’re a Filipino. 🙂

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    2. @camcrunch good vid im new to the game got my 1st dslr canon 1100d yesterday,with the idea of going into astrophotography,once I’ve work out the basics on dslr,and i am a ral beginner but i learn fast.im guessing to get f1.8 i need to buy a different lens,as stocks only goes to 3.5 ?

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    3. Enjoyed this vid! Very simple to understand!!! Will play over and over until I get it just right. I’ve had my DSLR for a while and have been playing with the settings…but have yet to achieve super sharp photos on a consistent basis.

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    4. you are are so young and already have great passion in the art of photography, I learn alot from this video I was confuse about the balance of these three elements.Thank you for sharing your experience I enjoy watching this video.Thank 😉

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    5. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information. my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    6. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school. I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    7. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image . 768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    8. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi. compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    9. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    10. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ? Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    11. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image. In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipationCheers

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    12. Hi,Thank you for sharing this important information.my camera is canon sx30is powershot .I wish to know this information for a project at school.I would like to know how to change recording pixels and compression ratio of an image .768 pixel hoisontal- 768 pixel vertical at 300dpi.compression ratio at 12 colour space sRGB file size 2 MB 30cmx 30cm resolution image.In this case which memory card I have to use ?Thank you in anticipation Cheers

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    13. Thank you so much for your videos. I am a beginner (never even HAD interest in photography), but, this photography class is required for my Web Development degree. The other classes were all photoshop classes, and this is the first class I’ve had to take pictures myself. I was really lost with all these terms and this crazy camera! Maybe the money I had to drop for the camera will be worth it in the end. THANK YOU!!!!!

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    14. Thanks for you kind words! I, too, was a beginner at one point. I try to do my best so that people that are starting off do not have to struggle too much to find the information they need regarding photography. Thanks for watching!

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    15. Hi, I recently bought a new camera and was searching online for a ‘beginner’s course/tips’. I found your ‘photography tutorial for beginners’. Thank you so much for taking the time to ‘give something back’ with your own knowledge and experience. You are an inspiration!

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    16. Hello, do you know “MagicSFXphoto” (just google it)? There you can watch a useful free video explaining the best way to create better photographs. This made it possible for Joe to create photographs that have a wow-effect while you take a look at them. Hopefully it will help you also.

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    17. Can u please tell me.. if u’re indoors for a party with yellow lights or restaurant lets say. u need light if ur image is still turning out to be dark right so i increase the iso, lower F value .. and i reduce the shutter speed.. lowering the shutter speed makes the images blurr..so how do i balance it.. i should i increase the shutter speed? (by increasing the iso even more than before).. is that how u balance it?

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    18. A brilliant explanation of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. You’re a natural at teacher of your subject and I commend your ability to articulate seemingly complex photography basics, in such a clear and engaging way – kudos to you buddy! Watched —> Loved —> SUBSCRIBED : )

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    19. Hi there, have you heard about “PhotoSFXart” (just search on Google for it …)? On their website you can watch a smart free video explaining how to make better photographs. This made it easier for Matt to take photos that leave you with a wow-effect after you take a look at them. I hope it helps you as well.

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    20. Hi Nico,Just a quick question, why is it that when I’m using my kit lens which is a 18-105mm f3.5 lens, I don’t get much blur(bokhe) in the background – compared when I’m down low f5.0, images are now sharp with blurred background?Is it because of my max aperture size of 3.5 or something else? Hope you could help. Thank you!

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    21. Can you double check your explanation of ISO. The lower the ISO value the better the picture. Plus a lower ISO is less sensitive to light. Higher ISO values make the image sensor more sensitive to light, but may produce grain or noise over 1600 ISO. That is why you have to increase it when you are shooting in darker environment. You reversed it in this video.

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    22. Yes, your overall message is correct, but you are misleading the audience. 4:11. You reversed it. Lower ISOs are used when you are in very bright environments where less light is needed. The overall message is good, but your explanation of ISO is misleading.

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    23. Very nice man! Ive watched a few different vids so far, and I gained more from your video after watching the others. I especially liked how you gave us the examples at the end, which really put things into prespective for me. Thanks alot! New subscriber here

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    24. Hey got a question. I have a 18-135mm lens, but I would like landscape photography mostly… I got a deal for 75-300mm telephot lens, do you think 75-300mm is enough for a good Landscape photography OR 18-135mm itslef it sufficient…. Please help me understand… do you have any video on choosing lens as well?

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    25. I’m new to photography and have been saturating myself with you tube videos on the subjects you have covered. I can honestly say that yours is the best buy far, very very helpful. Tried your advice and worked straight away, got a great portrait shot. Thanks again, you’re a star.

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    26. I think you have done an awesome job of explaining. I have subscribed and find your videos more helpful than most. I think some ppl are better at taking pics than explaining. you offer the right amount of advice in a very simple way of understanding!(great examples too). i will follow u for a long time! thanks!

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    27. Thank you so much for your clear, concise explanations. I’ve been looking for what your video has provided and am SO glad to have found your channel. I’ve been a point & shoot gal all my life and have now decided that I want to know what I’m doing and take better shots. My previous research rendered me slightly intimidated. Your teaching manner has reassured me that this CAN be learned with practice and the good instruction you are providing. You’ve another new subscriber. Thank you! 🙂

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    28. Hi, are you familiar with “photo SFX art” (search on Google for it)? There you can watch a smart free video explaining how to create impressive photographs. This made it easier for Joe to shoot photos that have a jaw-dropping-effect after you take a look at them. Perhaps it will help you out too…

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    29. Hey Niko! I have just started a new New photography and film making tutorials Vlog channel. In case if you are interested head over my channel to visit the first two videos. And in case if you want help me spread the word out, then like, subscribe and share the videos. Thanks! It Means a lot to me. 🙂

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    30. hey, i just loved your video man!.. keep them coming.. I’m in the learning moment and have same camera as you do and i wonder, when i watch pictures on the webb they are always so sharp and good colored and i wanna know the secret behind getting as sharp pictures as u can, on everything not just macro or some sertain sort, but on all and other thing is i wanna know how to get better color on the pictures, is it most on the computer you get the perfect colors that deside if your good at this?

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    31. Have a question about the ISO. I know the higher the number the more noise is let in , when shooting a sports scene indoors we would have the ISO be large but would that let in a lot of noise? Does it depend on the environment?

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    32. Hi Elke… It does not really depend on the environment… but darker areas in images would tend to show noise more clearly as opposed to the brighter areas in the image. No matter when and where you’re shooting, noise WOULD increase with the increase in ISO.Hope that answers your question… you may check out my page on FB: kjphotoworksLet me know if you have any questions about photography… always happy to help the enthusiasts.

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    33. Hey dude cool video. I’m new to photography, I don’t have a fancy camera. I like to shoot pictures with my android phone. it is tricky to get the shots I want ,do you have any suggestions? I really really want to be a good Androidographer.

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    34. Just got myself a Nikon D3100…i have know knowlegde on photography but after watching your video it really makes the basic understanding of photography much more easier…will be looking out for more videos…thanks alot..all the way from South Africa

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    35. after watching a couple of your videos and other photographers on youtube, i have to ask is a kit lens good for doing anything?, i’m just a beginner and was looking forward to getting some nice shots but it seems i’ll have to wait till i can get better lenses :/ btw i just bought a nikon d3100.

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    36. Hey man, great video!! Quick question for you… I just purchased a Nikon D600 and I have 3 lenses: Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, and Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8. I believe this is a solid set of lenses to begin with. I was wondering if you would recommend any other lenses I should get? Also, do you think the 17-35mm is a wide enough zoom lens??

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    37. Hey! my lens only goes to 3.5 as the minimum for aperature. So does it mean that it is impossible for me to get the effect of blurry background and front(I also mean low depth of field?) and also I have two lenses, a short one and long one. On the short one it says: “18-105mm 1:3.5-5.6G” on the long one it says: “70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G” what is the difference? how can I know when to use the right lens? and and I notice that you said about aperature 1.8, does it mean that I should get a new lens?

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    38. Thanks for sharing

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