New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Illustration by

The shutter


From:

Foundations of Photography: Exposure

with Ben Long

Video: The shutter

As we discussed earlier, your camera has two mechanisms for controlling light: it has a shutter and an aperture. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the shutter. A shutter is simply a mechanism that allows you to control how long the image sensor will be exposed to light, or film, if you're shooting with a film camera. Shutter speed is pretty intuitive. As the shutter is open longer, more light will strike the image sensor, and your image will get brighter and brighter. Let's go back to the pinhole camera that we looked at earlier. On the pinhole camera, this is the shutter, this little door here that I opened.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 56s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 32s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 53s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 3s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 44s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 59s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 58s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 16s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 46s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Foundations of Photography: Exposure
3h 24m Appropriate for all Dec 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Arriving at the best exposure for a photo is part science and part art. In Foundations of Photography: Exposure, Ben Long helps photographers expand their artistic options by giving them a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all other critical exposure practices. This course covers the basic exposure controls provided by all digital SLR cameras, as well as most advanced point-and-shoot models. Learn how to master a camera's metering modes, how to use exposure compensation and bracketing, and much more. By the end of the course, you'll know how to develop an "exposure strategy" that will allow you to effectively employ your exposure knowledge in any shooting situation.

Topics include:
  • What is exposure?
  • Exploring camera modes
  • Light metering
  • Shooting sharp images
  • Controlling shutter speed
  • Understanding f-stops
  • Controlling motion
  • Working with a shallow depth of field
  • Measuring aperture
  • Shooting in low light conditions
  • Performing manual light balance
  • Working with the histogram
  • Using fill flash
  • Understanding reciprocity
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations Lighting
Author:
Ben Long

The shutter

As we discussed earlier, your camera has two mechanisms for controlling light: it has a shutter and an aperture. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the shutter. A shutter is simply a mechanism that allows you to control how long the image sensor will be exposed to light, or film, if you're shooting with a film camera. Shutter speed is pretty intuitive. As the shutter is open longer, more light will strike the image sensor, and your image will get brighter and brighter. Let's go back to the pinhole camera that we looked at earlier. On the pinhole camera, this is the shutter, this little door here that I opened.

When I open it light is able to pass through the pinhole and expose the film that's in the back of the camera. So, to control shutter speed, I simply hold this door open for a longer or shorter time. Now because the sensor on your digital camera is so sensitive, and because you've got a lens to focus light onto it, your digital camera needs much shorter exposure times than this pinhole camera. So short, in fact, that a door like this one is impractical, because there is just no way to swing it all the way open and closed quickly enough to get the short exposure times that your digital camera needs.

So the shutter on your SLR, and on some point- and-shoot cameras, is composed of two curtains. When you press the shutter button, the first curtain begins to slide open, and then almost immediately the second curtain begins to slide closed. This creates a thin slip that passes in front of the image sensor, exposing it to light. I actually have a video of this happening, but before we watch it, there is something you need to understand about your SLR. SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, meaning the camera has just one lens, and this is it, the big lens that's on the front of your camera.

Your image sensor is right back here. So, it's a pretty straight shot through the lens to the image sensor. That part is pretty easy to understand. The tricky thing about an SLR is that your viewfinder is up here, above the lens and above the image sensor. And yet you're still able to look through the same lens that is exposing the sensor. How does that work? It's all done with mirrors. If I take the lens off, you'll see inside that there is a mirror at an angle here. So light comes through the lens, bounces off that mirror, and goes straight up into this part of the camera.

This is called the pentaprism. It's a prism or in some cameras there is series of additional mirrors that then bounces the light straight back out through the viewfinder. So as long as this mirror is down, light coming through the lens goes up into the pentaprism and out the viewfinder, so I can effectively look through the lens. When I press the shutter button though, the mirror flips up, so that now light is going straight back, and the shutter happens. Let's take a look at that in this video. You can see the mirror flipping open, a shutter opening and closing.

Let's take a look that again. So you can watch that mechanism on your own camera. Just take the lens off the camera and press the shutter button. The shutter curtains will move far to fast for you to see though, but you'll be able to see them in mirror flip up and down. Now point-and-shoot cameras don't always have a physical shutter the way an SLR does. Sometimes instead of physical shutter, they just turn the sensor on and off for the length of the desired exposure. For different lighting situations you, or your camera, will choose to have the shutter open longer or shorter.

Now obviously in less light it will need to be open longer, while in bright situations you will want it open shorter. Shutter speed is measured in seconds, and because shutter speeds are usually very quick your shutter speed will almost always be a fraction of a second. Your camera provides a range of shutter speeds, and these are the standard speeds that you will find out on all cameras. Shutter speeds can also be very long. If you're shooting in extreme dark, you might have shutter speed that are seconds, minutes, or even hours long. So shutter speed is fairly intuitive, as is its effect on your image.

But your shutter is not the only mechanism for controlling how much light hits your sensor. As you saw earlier, like your eye, your camera also has an aperture.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.