Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are things I knew were important to getting the exposure right on a camera, but I used to get so confused as to what each did, why they were different from each other, and how to use them to my benefit. After having it explained to me a number of times, I finally made my own mental connection that has since helped me to understand. Shutter speed and aperture work like parts of the human eye. Shutter speed works like the eyelid, when you open your eye, light comes in to your “sensor,” or your cornea. If you blink, it’s like your “shutter” has closed. Anything that happened during that short or long period of time that your eye was open is now one frame, one photo.

Aperture works like your iris, if there’s a lot of light, maybe you’re outside, a small aperture would be good so that only a little bit of that light comes in. If it’s dark, open up the aperture so more light can enter. ISO is the camera deciding how sensitive the sensor (keeping with the eye analogy, this would be your cornea) is to any light coming in.

After I finally understood this, my videos and photos started looking a LOT better! This prompted me to do this tutorial, as I know many others who are just starting out may also struggle with these very important camera settings.



The PDF handout for my tutorial follows the eye analogy:




All photos used were taken by me within the past 2 1/2 months, all except the skirt photos are present in various blogs on this site. All video was shot this past week, in my apartment. Thank you to my roommates who let me move their plants, take up most of the dining room for about an hour, and film them blinking or spinning in skirts.