Photo Friday: Photograph Landscape (The Exposure Triangle)

Two weeks ago I set the challenge of photography landscape. Part of the challenge was to select your own setting to take the photograph in. I chose to shoot in manual mode for the first time. This mode allows me to select both the aperture and the shutter speed as well as other settings such as ISO and white balance etc. You may remember from my post on Aperture this:

Small Aperture = Large f/stop number = Large depth of field
Large Aperture = Small f/stop number = Shallow depth of field

So when I went out to shoot landscape I knew I wanted a large depth of field. This is achieved with a small aperture. A small aperture will let in only a small amount of light because it means that the hole in the lens only opens a small amount. It was a sunny day so this was good. However I also had to select the shutter speed.

When we looked at shutter speed we saw that the longer the shutter speed the more light could enter the camera. If you have a bright day you need a short shutter speed or you will have too much light, if its getting darker then you will need a longer shutter speed to take in more light and make sure your photo isn't too dark. Because the sun was so bright on this particular day, and I was shooting into it I needed to set a short shutter speed.

The other factor in our cameras concerning light is the ISO. We saw that a low ISO would give a great smooth photo if you have lots of available light while a larger ISO might give you a slightly grainy photo but would be more sensitive to low levels of light. Because of the high light I could get away with selecting a low ISO.

These three factors together (aperture, shutter speed and ISO) all work together to affect the light levels. We call them the exposure triangle, they need to be held in balance and adjusted for the amount of light available and for the type of photograph required. These photos were taken on a bright day, I needed a small aperture, a fast shutter speed and a low ISO. For every photo you take the balance will be slightly different.

Manual mode takes some practice but ultimately gives you the most control over your photos so it's definitely something to work towards. I am going to try and shoot in manual mode from now on but if you aren't at this stage yet reread through some of my earlier posts on ApertureShutter SpeedWhite Balance and ISO. I would suggest you choose the thing you want control over first. For these photos I knew I needed a long depth of field so I chose my aperture first, then I set the shutter speed according to the light levels and kept my ISO low because I had plenty of light.

Remember using manual mode is all about balancing the exposure triangle. The only way to understand this is to practice, I need some more practice thats for sure! Next weeks challenge will be a great place to start so read on.

Next Weeks Challenge: Photograph Food
Camera: A camera that you can set to manual mode
Equipment: You may need a tripod
Software: None needed

1. Take a photograph of food and make it look delicious
2. Have a go shooting in manual mode and practice balancing the exposure triangle

It can be tricky to photograph food and make it look good so play around with this one and have fun. As usual show me what you get, I am thinking about setting up a Flickr pool for photos people take so let me know if you're interested and I will get on it. Have a good week, Zoe x

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