Three Essential Elements of Photography
Photography is a wonderful form of expression. It is a distinct and complex art form that has many different levels and ways of representation. However, for those who are just getting started, there are only 3 things that you need to learn to understand photography. These 3 essential elements of photography are:
- Shutter Speed–This is the adjustment of the speed, which is usually expressed as either fractions of seconds or an angle, of the shutter. This feature determines the amount of time during which the subject of your photo is exposed to light for each picture or exposure taken. As such, faster shutter speeds reduce both the light exposure and image blurring from the motion of the camera and/or subject. While slower shutter speeds are used for long exposure shots that facilitate images in very low light. For example, images of the night sky should be taken with slower shutter speeds.
- Aperture–This refers to the adjustment of the lens opening. It regulates the light exposure passing through the lens. It is measured as an f-number.
- Film Speed–This refers to the film’s sensitivity to light. The higher the film speed number, the greater the film’s sensitivity to light. Conversely, lower film speed numbers mean the film is less sensitive to light.
It is the proper combination of these 3 essential elements (aperture, shutter speed, and film speed) that results in a photo that is properly balanced and/or “correctly exposed.” Once a novice photographer understands these 3 essential elements and their relationship to each other, they will understand the basics of photography and know how to take a balanced image. Your education can only grow and expand from there.