Photography Tutorial Aperture ISO Shutter Speed
In this article you’ll discover how to shoot in manual mode and you will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between your aperture, ISO and shutter speed. I have also included a video below that better illustrates how adjusting one setting effects the others. This is a basic DSLR digital Photography tutorial aperture, iso and shutter speed.
As you watch the video below pay close attention to the histogram readings on the back of the DSLR’s LCD screen and also watch out for the high light indicator warning on the back of the LCD screen near the end of the video. Make sure you have these settings enabled on your Camera so that you can obtain more accurate feedback of your exposures.
Click on play to watch the Photography tutorial Aperture ISO Shutter Speed.
Here’s a better look at the HDR image from the video above taken at Monument Valley in Utah at F 22. Note the depth of field in the image most of the image is in focus from front to back.
Now in contrast have a look at an image that was taken at F 1.4 and notice the blurry quality of the background. Don’t worry about the shutter speed yet, we are getting to that shortly.
I know some people fear taking their camera out of Automatic mode but the sooner you do it the sooner you’ll open a whole new window of creative opportunity. Balancing your shutter speed and aperture will become second nature for you with just a little bit of practice.
Here’s another image below shot at a shallow depth of field. The aperture is F 1.4 and the ISO is 64 the lowest setting on a Nikon D810.
Once you have decided on the aperture it is just a matter of adjusting your shutter speed and having a look at your in camera meter and comparing that to your histogram reading on your LCD screen. Shooting in manual mode becomes much easier as you practice and observe the relationship between your aperture, ISO and shutter speed.
To keep things simple I suggest you keep your ISO setting as low as possible and then you really just have to focus on two things, your Shutter Speed and your Aperture settings. Here is an Image shot on the Canon 5D MK III at F 5.6 ISO 100 and Shutter Speed 160.
Here’s a quick tip, you will also want to set your LCD screen to 3 or 4 on the brightness brightness scale and keep it the same setting all of the time. Make sure your LCD brightness setting is not set to auto because this will confuse you.
By keeping your LCD brightness at the same setting it will help you to quickly determine if you have an accurate exposure when you compare the appearance of your LCD screen to your histogram reading. Over time you will be able to make quick and accurate judgements of your cameras exposure. Now where things can become a little complicated is if you are shooting with off camera flash, then you encounter what is referred to as shutter sync speed. On the Canon 5D MK III if you are using off camera flash then you are capped at a shutter speed no higher than 200.
The image below was taken with a 3 stop neutral density filter and the reason for that is so that I could open my aperture to F 1.4 on a sunny day but still restrict some of the light because I was using flash and my highest shutter speed is 200. The camera was a Nikon D810 with a Nikon F 1.4 G lens.
Here is another example of an image taken at F1.4 with a 3 stop B+W neutral density filter. The key light is a Westcott 35 Zeppelin using an Paul C Buff Einstein e640 Strobe powered by a vagabond mini battery pack. The Camera was the Nikon D810 with the Nikon 85mm F 1.4G lens which is super sharp at as low as F1.8.
Let me know if this digital photography tutorial makes sense to you or if I am going to fast for with these explanations. Let’s try to simplify things a little, when you shoot in auto mode the camera decides the settings for you based on what the camera thinks is an accurate exposure. Now this takes any thought or creativity out of the equation but it isn’t a fool proof method for getting accurate exposures. Try to think of it this way all three Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed effect how much light is let into the camera.
If you want a shallow depth of field you will have to open your aperture to F 1.4 for example but then you will have to compensate for the added light by restricting or raising your shutter speed. But if you can’t do that because you are using off camera flash then you have to restrict light another way. Here’s another example below of shooting with flash with a shallow depth of field.
If your ISO is already at it’s lowest setting then the only option you have left is to use a neutral density filter to cut down the amount of light hitting your DSLR’s sensor. Does it make more sense now? Or have I confused you even more.
Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment box below. Also if you would like some more in-depth tutorials covering portrait lighting and retouching you should check out my video site below.
Well this concludes our short Photography Tutorial Aperture ISO Shutter Speed and hopefully it made a few things more clear for you and you have more confidence to go out and shoot in manual mode. Some people will still try to make the argument that shooting in manual mode takes too long and that they will miss crucial shots if they take their camera out of automatic mode. My sister is one of those people who although she is shooting with a Sony A7 RII she still refuses to shoot in manual mode.
I know, it’s crazy right… Buy a high end Sony camera and then shoot in automatic mode. Not to harp on this too much but I don’t think she has even taken the time to read the owners manual. If this sounds like you then you are not alone but I urge you to take a few minutes each day to practice until you feel more comfortable.
One last thing… Before you leave… you should check out my FREE Portrait Lighting and Retouching Workshop Click Here.