When you take a picture, whether you’re using a film camera or a digital one, you are recording the light that is reflected off of your subject.
When that light reflects off of your subject, it enters the camera lens and moves through an opening called the aperture. The aperture is a lot like the pupil of your eye and, like the pupil, the size of the aperture opening can change to change the amount of light that moves through the camera lens. So, a larger aperture opening allows more light to pass through and a smaller aperture opening restricts the amount of light.
Once the light has passed through the aperture and the lens, it moves through the camera to the shutter. The shutter is basically a door that covers the camera’s image sensor and as long as that door stays closed, no light gets through to the sensor. The shutter flips open when a photo is taken (and the shutter button is pressed), allowing light to move past it and strike the image sensor. The amount of light that hits the sensor depends on how long the shutter door stays open. This length of time is called shutter speed.
The light that passes through the shutter then strikes the camera’s digital image sensor, a computer chip that is sensitive to light. And this is where the magic of digital photography really happens. The light that has traveled through the camera finally strikes the camera’s sensor where it is captured as an image file. A digital photograph is born.
To read more about how a digital camera works, check out these resources:
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For the last several posts, we have been talking about exposure and how we can use it to creatively change the look of our photos. And in our previous post, we looked at using the aperture settings to change the depth of field of an image.
n the last few weeks we have been talking about exposure and the settings that control it.
In this post, we’ll look at the aperture setting, another of the exposure controls, and see how you can use it to enhance your photos, direct focus onto your subject and give your images a sense of dimension.
In our last post, we talked about shutter speed and how it affects the way motion is portrayed in an image.