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Understanding the exposure triangle is one of the foundations of photography. So, what is the exposure triangle?

the exposure triangle

The Three Components

The exposure triangle is made up of three components: shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.

For proper exposure, each leg influences the others. As you increase your aperture, you can lower your ISO but this also effects your shutter speed. That’s why it’s a triangle. You need all three sides to interact appropriately.

Think About What You’re Trying to Accomplish

What you want to accomplish can determine which of the three components is most important to your photo.

If you need great depth of field, you’ll want to stop down your aperture and you will have to bump your ISO or decrease your shutter speed to compensate.

The same is true for wanting to ‘freeze’ action. You’ll want to have a very high shutter speed, which might require raising your ISO or opening your aperture up fairly wide.

Have questions about the “exposure triangle”? Let me know in the comments section!

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