ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. What do they mean?

January 2, 2018

As technology progresses, cameras can make better decisions when shooting in full auto and preset modes. However, no software can replace a skilled photographer’s brain when it comes to making artistic decisions.


Understanding how the settings on your camera work will not only make you a more proficient photographer, it provides the tools to fully express your creativity in every shot.


This post will cover the three camera settings that make up what is known as the exposure triangle; ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture.



ISO - Changing the ISO setting on your camera adjusts your camera’s sensitivity to light. The lower the number, the lower the sensitivity. The higher the number, the higher the sensitivity. However, it is worth mentioning the higher the ISO number is, the more noise (granulation in a photo most noticeable in the dark areas) will be introduced to your shots. Therefore, it is advisable to shoot at the lowest ISO settings possible.


Shutter Speed – Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter on your camera is open when you take a picture. When looking to freeze motion, a higher shutter speed is recommended. When you wish to show motion blur, use a lower shutter speed.


Aperture – Measured in F-Stops, the aperture value is the size of the hole that allows light to enter the camera. The value of the aperture is represented in f-stops. The lower the f-stop, the wider the hole. This sounds backwards until you understand the f-stop number represents the amount of aperture covering up the hole, not the size of the hole.


Changing your aperture value changes the depth of field in you photo. The lower the f-stop number, the shallower your photo’s depth of field will be. Likewise, the higher the f-stop, the deeper your photo’s depth of field will be. This is how some portrait shots show the subject in perfect focus while the background of the shot is depicted in a dreamy blurry focus. Photographers call that out of focus background bokeh.


Remember, one must learn the rules to know how to break them. For more tips like these, follow our Facebook feed @CAH.Promotions or visit our blog page at Thanks for reading.

Please reload

CAH Promotions LLC
Phone: (262)-342-6269
P.O. Box 632
Burlington, WI 53105

Like us on Facebook