What is a Photo Exposition – Rules for Choosing an Exposition

What is an exposition

There are many special photography expositions. Among experienced photographers, one hears the phrase that photos are being exhibited incorrectly. Some novice photographers do not fully understand what a photo exposition is and how to achieve good results with different shooting parameters. This article may be useful for beginning photographers.


  • What is a photo exposition
  • Factors that influence the exposition of photography
  • How to choose the right exposition with your camera
  • Examples of different expositions of photography

What is a photo exposition

What you should know about expositions

Exposure in photographic technique is the amount of illumination that falls on the light-sensitive elements of a camera for a given period of time. The camera settings are responsible for this amount. The main goal of a correct exposition of a photograph is the transmission of a photographic image of an object when the human eye sees it, or when it is the best approximation to this. By changing the exposure value you can get a darker or brighter image.

Excluding additional factors that may affect the image, exposition can be explained as brightness. The sensitive photocells and algorithms of the processor of the camera processor automate the process of calculating the exposure. At the same time, each photographic amateur, especially professional photographers, should be able to determine and install this important parameter independently.

Factors that influence the exposition of photography

What is the exposure of

Changing the amount of external illumination that corresponds to the semiconductor matrix of the camera can be configured in the following parameters

  1. Excerpt ;
  2. Diaphragm ;
  3. Sensitivity of the matrix.

Exposure indicates the time the camera’s shutter is open and light affects the matrix. This parameter can be an integer or a fraction. All camera models use a standardized series of numbers. Lines start in seconds and end in thousands. The minimum shutter interval for a camera is 1/8,000 second. For simpler cameras, it can be smaller.

Manual for Photographers - Expositions

The diaphragm (aperture) changes the amount of light recorded by the camera matrix. For this purpose, the lens is equipped with a technical device that allows a smooth change of the relative holes. When the diaphragm is installed in a position corresponding to the minimum number, the lens is completely open. Depending on the type of lens, these are f/1.4, f/2.0, and f/2.8 values. With diaphragms f/16, f/22, or f/32, light falls through a small hole in the center of the lens per matrix, reducing the amount of light. The photographic exhibition is determined primarily by these two parameters that form the exposition pair.

In addition to these values, a third factor affects photobleaching. This affects the exposition. This is the sensitivity of the camera matrix or the installed photographic material. Installing a high level of sensitivity allows for normal shooting in difficult conditions. This adversely affects the quality of the image because as sensitivity increases, digital noise increases throughout the field of frames. The picture appears as if it is covered with colored dots, the number of which increases with increasing sensitivity.

The camera itself has controls that allow the photographer to change all three values in manual mode. When choosing the exposure in the camera’s manual mode, the photographer sets all the parameters himself, since automatic is disabled. In the camera’s semi-automatic mode, it is sufficient to set one of them. The automation will do the rest.

How to choose the right exposition with your camera

Exposition Triangle

All three parameters affecting exposure are interrelated and cannot be considered separately during the shooting process. In photography, it is customary to think of the ideal exposure as a triangle with equal sides. Changing any of the three parameters will break the symmetry. To restore it, one or both of the remaining parameters must be changed at once.

Proper exposure in a photo is characterized by the following features

  • Good distribution of tones;
  • Elaboration of shadow details.
  • Detail in bright areas.

In a photograph, details in the image can be seen in both the brightest areas and in the shadows. A correctly taken photo does not require the use of a photo editor to correct the brightness. If you are allowed to change the values of the main camera parameters according to the shooting conditions, it is recommended to minimize the sensitivity. Experienced photographers will attempt to increase sensitivity as a last resort. This is most often done when the basic exposure parameters are not sufficient for shooting in difficult situations.

The camera is equipped with an electronic exposure meter. The display shows a (+) and (-) scale on the left and right with zero in the center. When the camera’s exposure is set correctly, the indicator arrow is zero. If it is in one of the side sectors, the main parameters must be changed and set to zero. If the shutter speed and aperture are not sufficient for this, the sensitivity must be changed.

Examples of different expositions of photography

Correct Explanation

For amateur photographers doing a lot of work in manual mode, it takes experience to accurately select the proper exposure. To correctly understand photographic exposure, it is necessary to know that different camera settings will produce the same image quality. To clarify this, the term exposure number is used in photography. The same number may be used for different shutter speeds and effective apertures of lenses. This is clearly seen in special tables. For example, exposure values are the same for the following values

  • 1/500 – f / 2.8;
  • 1/250 – f/4.0;
  • 1/60 – f/8.0.

Exposition Exposition

In theory, the quality of a photograph should be the same at any combination of these values. In practice, much depends on the nature of the shot. If you are shooting a moving object, you may want to choose Exposure (1). The blurring effect will not be noticeable on a moving object. Exposure (2) is better suited for portrait shots where the distant subject is secondary. When shooting landscapes, you should use a larger aperture and a smaller aperture on the camera lens. The f/16 or f/22 setting combined with an appropriate shutter interval will capture the perfect perspective of the objects in the picture.

Despite the fact that the correct exhibition of a photograph depends on two parameters of the camera, experienced photographers consider the aperture more important and therefore install it first. Next, an excerpt is selected according to the characteristics of the aperture and the object being removed. If necessary, the parameters are modified based on the indications of the excimimeter and finally a change in sensitivity in the increasing direction is applied. Initially, the minimum sensitivity is used to provide a high quality image with a minimum number of noises.


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