Learn the exposure triangle. This is true for both photo and video, knowing the exposure triangle is essential to succeeding. 

Now I’m not going to go through all the points, but it’s pretty simple. When you try to properly expose an image, whether it’s photo or video, you have three main components, the shutter speed, the ISO and the aperture. 

Aperture

The aperture is how large of an opening you have on the camera, which is driven by the lens. As you adjust this aperture, it lets in more light, and it also affects the depth of field. This is really related to how much of an area is in focus, particularly when closeup. We can also often adjust the shutter speed, and this controls the freezing of the action or the blurring. 

Shutter Speed

If you’re out shooting fast-moving objects like flying birds, you better use a short shutter speed to capture the action or sports.  This is why a lot of people have blurry photos or shaky images, and they don’t understand why.

ISO

Lastly is the ISO, which is the sensitivity of your camera. This is really going to drive the camera sensor sensitivity, but if you push this too high, you get grain. 

Balancing

These are the three legs to the table, and you have to know how to use each one. Sure, you can cheat and get by with auto for a while. You might feel comfortable that you’ve stepped up to aperture priority or shutter priority. Still, ultimately you need to know how to shoot manual. 

There’s nothing wrong with Aperture Priority. I use it all the time, but in that case, I’m still using other options to drive things, and I might override some of those choices to get the quality of the shot that I want.

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