Exposure Triangle Explained For Beginner Photographers

Photography is all about capturing light.

Light determines how bright or dark your pictures appear and also sets the tone, mood, and atmosphere of the scene.

So to click a perfect picture, you need to capture the right amount of light.

Meaning, you need to have the right exposure, which is controlled by the exposure triangle.

The exposure triangle in photography is nothing but an analogy to explain the main elements that affect the exposure of a photograph and the way that these elements are related.

The exposure triangle consists of:

  1. Aperture

2. Shutter Speed

3. ISO

Now let’s understand them one by one.


Aperture is the opening that determines how much light passes through the camera lens to the sensor.

For this reason, exposure and aperture are completely related. If you use a wider aperture, the camera lens will allow more light to reach the camera, and the image will be brighter (more exposed). If, conversely, you close down your aperture and block the amount of light that passes through the lens, the image will be darker (less exposed).

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is the length of time that the shutter of the camera remains open, collecting light.

Exposure and shutter speed are also directly correlated. The longer you leave the shutter of your camera open capturing light, the brighter the image will be, and the quicker the shutter is opened and closed, the less light will hit the sensor, which will result in a darker image.


ISO is the amplification of light captured by the camera. Digital cameras capture light naturally through the aperture of the lens and the length of time the shutter is open. What ISO does is “artificially” make the image brighter.

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