How can I modify the exposure settings of my camera to get different image effects?

A photograph's exposure determines how light or dark an image will appear when it's captured by your camera. Believe it or not, this is determined by just three camera settings: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO (the "exposure triangle"). 

The image on this site can be used as a guide for manipulating the settings of the "exposure triangle" to get the image effects you want. 

Aperture (top row) - Aperture controls how much light enters through your camera lens; the unit of measure for Aperture is called an f-stop. As the f-stop value rises, the amount of light entering through your lens willdecrease. Low f-stop settings are usually used for portrait photos, while higher f-stop values can be used for very sunny days or landscape photos. 

Shutter Speed (middle row) - A camera's shutter determines how long the camera sensor will be open to incoming light from the camera lens; the unit of measure for shutter speed is in tenths, hundredths, and thousandths of a second. Shutter speed is a powerful tool for freezing or exaggerating the appearance of motion. A long shutter speed will create blur, which may be desirable for creative shots, while a short shutter speed will freeze fast moving subjects.

ISO (bottom row) - ISO determines how sensitive the camera is to incoming light; ISO is measured as a number that typically ranges in between 50-25,600.  A lower ISO speed is almost always desirable. Typically, a high ISO setting would only be used in extremely low-light situations, such as astrophotography.

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