Photo Challenge #3 – Master the Triangle

Hi Ya’ll. How was your weekend? I made a quick trip this Saturday up to Cascade Springs here in Utah to practice the second and third lessons in the Photo Challenge Series. It was really fun, cascade springs is a good place to practice using shutter speed to blur motion. It also has lots of flowers and things to work on aperture with. Today’s lesson is about mastering the triangle.

This is another challenge out of the book The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs (Voices That Matter) by David duChemin.

The triangle refers to the relationship between the three settings that control the exposure in your photograph. When you shoot in manual, these three settings are the ones you’ll work with the most and they include;

  • Shutter Speed
  • Aperture
  • ISO

The reason they are referred to as the triangle is because just like the legs of a triangle, when you move one point, the other legs will need to stretch or subtract to account for the change. It’s all about balance.

Just like the last few posts in the series, I won’t go much into the actual lesson – you can find that in the book. But I do want to share with you the photos from this challenge.

For the first demonstration of Aperture, I set up my tripod next to a waterfall that I liked, and brought down the ISO down to 100. Then I brought the shutter speed to an average point at 1/320 sec. Next I set my aperture to wide open – which on the lens I was using was f/1.8. That created a completely overexposed photo (of course), but I took the shot, then moved up to the next f-stop and took another shot. All the photos were overexposed until I got to f/2.2 – so I didn’t include those in the demo below. Aperture not only controls how much light is let in, but it also controls your depth of field, so pay attention to the differences in each f-stop below. Aperture Demonstration by Vintage Storehouse & Co.

I stopped at f/13 because the shot was basically black after that point. The idea is to isolate one of the settings to give you an idea of how they effect the photograph.

The next one I worked on was Shutter Speed.

Shutter Speed Demonstration by Vintage Storehouse & Co.

This one required a lot less photographs because the difference between the speeds made a huge impact on the amount of light being let in. So I quickly went from being overexposed at anything faster than 1/3 sec, and completely underexposed at 1/320 sec. Pay attention to how the shutter speed effects the motion in the water.

Photography Challenge - Mastering the triangle by Vintage Storehouse & Co.

Photography Challenge - Mastering the triangle by Vintage Storehouse & Co.

Aperture is my favorite setting to experiment with because it creates completely blurred out backgrounds, allowing you to really focus in on whatever you’re trying to photograph. Both of the photos above were shot at f/1.8, with varying shutter speeds to account for the lighting in the area. Notice that even at 1/3200 sec, the bees wings are still blurred.

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