Photography Tutorial: Exposure

Phil Ebiner
A free video tutorial from Phil Ebiner
Top-Rated Instructor, 2 Million+ Students
4.5 instructor rating • 129 courses • 2,017,653 students

Lecture description

What is exposure? Photography exposure is basically how bright or dark your image is. We call a photo that is too dark, underexposed. A photo that is too bright is overexposed.

A photo where your subject is not too dark, and not too bright, but it looks natural, is properly exposed. Your subject could be anything from a person to a mountain in the distance.

Depending on your photo’s composition, not everything can be properly exposed. Sometimes your background will be too bright. Sometimes one side of your photo will be too dark.

The important thing we want you to remember with ‘proper exposure’ is that it’s partly up to you as the artist. You may want your photo to be dark or to be bright. That can create some interesting and creative shots.

This is the basic idea of photography exposure. As you go through the course, you'll learn how to control your photo's exposure using in-camera options like aperture, shutter speed and ISO, as well as out-of-camera things like natural and artificial lighting.

Learn more from the full course

Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography

The Best Online Professional Photography Class: How to Take Amazing Photos for Beginners & Advanced Photographers

22:51:51 of on-demand video • Updated October 2020

  • You will know how to take amazing photos that impress your family and friends
  • You will know how the camera truly works, so you can take better photos using manual settings
  • You will know how to photograph in different scenarios like family portraits, landscapes, aerial, product, wildlife, and much more
  • You will know how to compose images beautifully with basic photography rules
  • You will know how to light your subjects with flash and natural lighting
  • You will know how to edit your photos like a professional
  • You will know how to make money with photography
  • You will know how to take better photos with your smart phones
English Welcome to this new section of the Photography Masterclass. In this section, you're going to learn all about exposure. What it is? how to use your camera to properly expose? and even some advanced exposure concepts. First, what is exposure? Photography exposure is basically how bright or dark your image is, we call a photo that is too dark underexposed, a photo that is too bright is overexposed, a photo where your subject is not too dark and not too bright but it looks natural is properly exposed. And your subject could be anything from a person to a mountain in the distance. depending on your photos composition and your situation, not everything will be properly exposed. Sometimes your background will be too bright or sometimes one side of your photo will be too dark. The important thing we want you to remember with proper exposure, is that it's partly up to you as the artist, you may want your photo to be a little dark or to be a little bright, that can create some interesting and creative shots. As a beginner it's good to learn how to properly expose, so that the viewer can easily see what's in your photo. Now, how do we change our camera settings to expose properly? This is done with a few key settings aperture, shutter speed and ISO. With most DSLR mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras and even mobile phones, you'll be able to adjust these settings manually and that's what this course is all about. Dropping Auto and understanding how to photograph with your manual settings, even if you use Auto settings in the future, which is sometimes a good idea knowing how your camera works, is so important to understanding how to take great photos. These three settings aperture, shutter speed and ISO, make up what's called the exposure triangle. Each setting can make your photo brighter or darker and each setting also affects different aspects of your photo, like the depth of field and motion blur, things we'll cover in future lessons. There's also one other thing that dramatically changes how bright or dark our photos might be. Can you guess what that is? Lighting. Photographing in bright sunlight, is a lot different than photographing a candle lit seen. Properly exposing is a balance of the settings in the exposure triangle and understanding how light works. So let's get started with aperture.