Understanding Exposure Triangle: Everything You Need to Know!

Exposure Triangle

The main goal of photography is to capture light. We must manage the amount of light that is exposed to a photosensitive surface, such as film or a digital sensor, as well as the sensitivity of that surface to light, in order to create a photograph that we can see. As a result, using a light meter to control the amount of light produces an exposure triangle.

Understanding the photography triangle, commonly known as the exposure triangle, will enable you to examine the final image before photographing it. Even though the conserving film in today’s world of digital dominance isn’t your top priority, understanding how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO interact to create your image will help you become a more knowledgeable, effective photographer.

Why is exposure important in photography? What is exposure? What is the “Exposure Triangle”? We will try to address these questions in this introductory post about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, the components of capturing a properly exposed image.

What is Exposure?

Exposure is the term used to describe the extent to which light reaches the camera’s sensor and creates visual information over time. It could be a fraction of a second or several hours. The ideal exposure involves striking a balance. Overexposure results in overexposed highlights and photographs that appear faded. Images that are underexposed are darker and difficult to see. Take a look at these fundamentals to gain a better understanding of camera exposure and learn how to acquire the ideal exposure for your project.

What is Exposure Triangle?


In general, the exposure determines how the image you capture will normally look. The three camera controls or variables known as the “exposure triangle” cooperate to control the exposure of an image. However, the three controls are shutter speed, ISO, and aperture which make up the exposure triangle. These three camera and lens adjustments cooperate to determine both the sensitivity of the light-sensitive surface (aperture and shutter speed) as well as the amount of light that reaches it (ISO). These three variables have special “side effects” in addition to affecting how a photograph looks. Depth of field is controlled by the aperture, action can be frozen or blurred by the shutter speed, and noise in an image can be added or removed by the ISO setting.


ISO ratings determine your camera’s level of light sensitivity (a more technical exploration can be found). The ISO value is represented by numbers; the lesser the number, the less sensitive the sensor is to light. Increased light sensitivity is represented by higher numbers. According to your camera, the minimum setting is 50, 100, or 200.

Photographers need to be aware of and understand the proper ISO settings. For instance, to get more saturation, less noise, and finer details, ISO 100 is used. If you prefer less saturation and detail, pick a higher ISO setting, say 400. Each level of ISO increase results in a doubling of the sensor’s sensitivity (ISO 100 to ISO 200, ISO 200 to ISO 400, and so on). Accordingly, your sensor simply needs to be exposed to half as much light for the same exposure. Exposure is therefore increased by a factor of two.

Similarly, you must remember that it is indeed dark when you wish to take a photograph of the early-evening skyline because doing so calls for a quick shutter speed. This can be accomplished by increasing the sensitivity level to 3200, which will lead to a five-fold increase in exposure (100-200-400-800-1600-3200).

Any light signal that does not come from the subject is referred to as digital noise, which causes the random colors to appear in images. The image sensor of a camera was created by engineers to function best at the lowest ISO.


If the ISO is associated to light sensitivity, the aperture controls the amount of light that enters the digital sensor of your camera. An aperture is a hole in the lens of your camera. If you look attentively at the camera lens, you can detect rounded or ring-shaped metal blades. These moveable blades can be opened to widen an opening or closed to narrow one. Therefore, by adjusting the aperture or using the Aperture Priority setting, you may alter the amount of light that really can reach your camera such that it can either open (widen) or shut (narrow).

The aperture setting is affected by various f-stop values. F-stop values typically fall into the following categories: 1.4, 1.8, 2.0, 2.8, 3.6, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and 22. Remember that as the numerical value increases, the aperture shrinks, and much less light passes through when changing the aperture. Moreover, if you employ a smaller aperture size, which enhances the depth of field, a larger portion of your photograph will be in focus. When taking photographs with a shallow depth of field, use a larger aperture size (i.e., a smaller numerical f-stop value).

When you adjust the aperture by just one stop, the amount of light flowing through your camera lens is thus decreased by one-half or boosted by two. The most important thing is to keep working on it until you feel confident using the different f-stop levels and until you can produce the required image or photographs.

Shutter Speed

The shutter on your camera is what makes any clicking or shattering sounds. This is the sound that occurs as an image is taken.

The shutter speed is important for every camera. A door that is adjacent to the sensor opens and shuts whenever the shutter on the camera is activated. The length of time the sensor is exposed to light is managed by the shutter mechanism in question. Alternatively, the aperture limits how much light is permitted to reach the sensor, while the shutter speed dictates how long it takes for light to reach the sensor.

In steps of 1/100th of a second, the shutter speed is defined. If you use the example of 1/100s, the camera sensor will only be exposed to light for 1/100th of a second. If there is one aspect of shutter speed that should be noted, the shutter speed value needs to be smaller so that the shutter opens and closes faster.

Comparable Exposures

When the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are added together for a particular setting, an equal exposure value is created. Changing any one of these elements will result in a different end image. If the f-stop is increased to lower the amount of light reaching the sensor, the shutter speed and ISO should also be modified for an equivalent exposure; else, the image may come out blurry or too bright; underexposed or overexposed.

The measurement unit for expressing exposure levels in photography is the stop (with full stops also known as EV, or exposure value, units). Every stop that is added increases the amount of light in exposure by two, while every stop that is removed reduces it by half.

Wrapping Up

In order to capture the subject in a way that reflects your desired requirement, the mechanism must allow a certain quantity of light to enter the camera and lens when setting an exposure. In order to get the image, you desire, the Exposure Triangle, which consists of three independent settings inside the camera, allows you to manage this light.

We will do everything it takes to help you understand imaging with right exposure and provide recommendations for appropriate imaging solutions. Vadzo has the pleasure of working with Imaging sensors from leading companies such as On Semiconductors, Sony, Omnivision, and others. If you’re ready to talk about your camera needs, Vadzo’s team will be happy to assist you.

Feel free to Contact Us