Creative Live classes are good but they are ridiculously long. I guess they're trying to cover every possible piece of info, but that can cause some of the key basics to get lost in the shuffle. To me, the most important basic technical concept every photographer needs to understand, in order to make the image they want, is the exposure triangle. Exposure is how you control your capture of light, and this is the basis for all photography. Once you understand this, and how to adjust these settings on your camera, you can shift focus to the art of the image. The three camera settings you use to control light are Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. As in life, each has a benefit and a drawback so these choices affect your final image. The good news is, the way you leverage each trade-off is part of your artistic vision ;)
In a nutshell:
Aperture – the hole in your lens that lets light through to the sensor while the shutter is open
Bigger hole = more light, but fewer things in focus (ie. a shallow depth of field)
Smaller hole = less light, but more things in focus (ie. bigger depth of field)
The annoying thing about aperture is the smaller the number, the bigger the hole. This, apparently, makes sense to advanced mathematicians ;)
Simplify this choice to how much of your image you want in focus (ie. depth of field)
Shutter Speed – how long your camera opens to expose the sensor to light
Slower shutter = more light, but blurs more motion (including the motion generated by your hands as you operate the camera)
Faster shutter = less light, but freezes more motion
Simplify this choice to how sharp you want your subject to be
ISO – how much light your sensor can detect and capture
More sensitive = more light, but grainier image
Less sensitive = less light, but sharper image
Simplify this choice to overall image graininess. This is usually where I make my sacrifice because, in my opinion, it does the least damage to the intent of the image.
Clear as mud, right?
Here's a handy diagram, visuals are our friend:
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That's an awesome visual, thank you!! I've seen the exposure triangle, and watched a quick tutorial on it recently. However, also having the little pictures showing what is meant on each side from more to less etc. is really great for someone as new as me to all of this. Very helpful and print worthy!