How is a photograph made?
When taking a picture, you press the shutter release and there are two things that happen:
- The shutter opens for a fraction of time to let light from the scene to be focused onto the image sensor. The fraction of time for which the shutter opens is called shutter speed.
- The light coming in comes through a hole in the lens. This hole is called an aperture - an adjustable opening that regulates how much light passes through the lens.
So, to get the ideal exposure, just the right amount of light must strike the image sensor. If there is too much light - your picture will be overexposed and if there or too little light, your picture will underexposed. In either case you need to adjust the amount of light coming into the camera. So we can do this one of two ways:
- Change the shutter speed. Make the shutter speed slower (so that it remains open for a longer time) to allow more light to come in OR make the shutter speed faster to let less light come in - depending upon whether the photograph is under or overrexposed.
- Another way to change the amount of light coming into the camera is by opening or closing the lens's aperture. 'Stopping down' the aperture makes it smaller so that it lets in less light. Opening it up lets in more light.
Once the right amount of light hits the sensor or film - you will have the perfectly exposed picture.
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