Photo basics tutorial course :: Beginning and exposure

Photo basics #1: Exposure

I'm really happy that you found my photography basics series. I have taught basics of photography to thousands of people, so I know how difficult it can seem to start. I will try to make this series absolute simplest for you to learn the basics of making good photos.

What will you need to start?

Of course, there's nothing wrong to make the photos using the simplest cameras, but you probably won't be able to modify much of their settings. The best would be a DSLR camera, but you will be fine if you will just get a camera that can adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Nowadays even small pocket cameras used to have that functionality.

What is exposure?

If you hear about photography exposure, it just means the darkness or brightness of a photo. If you say it this way, it seems that making correctly exposed photographs is easy, but for a beginner photographer, it can not always be that simple.  But hey, that's why I created this photo basics series.

You want to learn about exposure, so this probably means you now shooting in an automatic mode of your camera. You don't need to adjust anything, just push the trigger and you have your photo. Camera entirely controls the exposure of that picture: shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. This can be useful, but sometimes it's just not enough, as it limits your creativity.

Why bother about exposure

People, who don't know photography basics could say something like "Hey, why to bother about exposure if the camera can do it for me and it will probably do it better". Technical correctly photography not always will fit our needs. Let me show you one good example:

Photo exposure difference
Two photos were made at the same time: first have technically correct exposure, second is underexposed.

Now ask yourself a question: which photo do I like more? Probably your answer will be "The one on the right". This is because we choose creatively dark exposure which helped us to show an awesome colourful sunset. Automatic camera settings always choose "the middle", so we can see more of the boat, but the photo loses all the magic. This is why you must learn photography basics - to always make sure the photo will look as you want it to.

Wojciech Kuźma

My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my photography blog. I started my adventure with photography a few years ago and all I know, I learned myself, mainly from the Internet (which proves that for those who want nothing is difficult).

If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


4.63 | 8 votes
Comments: 13
  •   14th March 2017, 20:19

    Cant wait for the next photography basics tips, enjoyed this article a lot! Thank you.

    •   5th April 2017, 16:21

      I will write another article about photography basics really soon, I will inform you when that will happen.

  •   14th March 2017, 11:34

    Exposure is a very important thing when it comes to photography basics, so thanks for pointing out a few good tips.

    •   5th April 2017, 16:22

      Exposure in the basic of the basics!:-)

  •   15th March 2017, 16:16

    Of course the photo on the right is much better! :-) BTW. Its an awesome photo, awesome article and awesome blog, keep going this way mate ;)

    •   5th April 2017, 16:24

      Thank you, Julian. This photography blog (as the whole page) just started, so theres a lot of work in front of me. But a few nice words makes me wanna work and write new posts! :-)

  •   15th April 2017, 11:40

    Good article for the start, very nice explained.

  •   4th May 2017, 04:55

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challeging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be exciting to read through articles from other writers and use somethhing from other sites.

  •   13th June 2017, 12:43

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  •   2nd August 2017, 23:13

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  •   15th January 2018, 12:44

    A useful thing, I will now be doing my first photo in a professional studio with a flash and all lighting. I have a Nikon D7500, are you able to recommend what exposure to use in such conditions? This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Przydatna sprawa, ja teraz będę robić pierwszy raz zdjęcia w profesjonalnym studiu z błyskiem i całym oświetleniem. Posiadam Nikona D7500, czy jest Pan w stanie polecić z jakiej ekspozycji korzystać w tego typu warunkach?

  •   25th April 2018, 20:10

    Iwas recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty. Youre wonderful! Thanks!

  •   17th May 2018, 08:30

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