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Camera Basics Explained

Everything you need to know about aperture, shutter speed and ISO to capture beautiful exposures
Photo of camera basics

If you’re a beginner photographer who is just getting to know your camera and looking for some expert help, the below video is a great place to start. Led by photographer Tyler Stalman, the camera basics tutorial is a beginner’s guide to aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

If those photography terms already fill you with some angst, watch below as Stalman shares his clear and accessible explanations on what they mean and how you can use them to take better photos.

“When I started learning the basics of photography, people had to explain it to me a dozen times before I understood,” Stalman admits. “Aperture, ISO, shutter speed, exposure: how do these things all come together to make a good picture? So I’m going to explain them in the easiest way I possibly can.”

Shot on location in beautiful Hawaii, Stalman’s video begins with a discussion of exposure. “Exposure. It’s the brightness of your image,” he says. “And that brightness or darkness exists in the real world. There’s a certain amount of objective light that is out there shining. Exposure is how you decide to interpret it for your photo.”

From there, Stalman then tackles how you can control exposure in your image through adjustments to the camera’s aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

“Here’s the simplest way to understand how a photo is taken,” he says. “Every camera has either a digital sensor or a piece of film inside and it’s sensitive to light. The more light that hits that sensor, the brighter that part of the image is.”

Watch below as he covers all these essential pieces of what is known as “the exposure triangle” while photographing a model in Hawaii to demonstrate each of these concepts. And if you think you’ll be subjugated to a long boring lecture in photography theory, think again. Stalman’s fun and easy tutorial, titled “Camera Basics Explained,” is just over eight minutes long.

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