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Dumblit Basics: Understanding Photography/Videography

When it comes to music, every artist should be utilizing images and videos to promote their music, as they help establish the vibe, give a "cover to the book" and can make the song more enjoyable to listeners. It is important for artists, beginner or advanced, to understand the basics of photography and videography so that they can better create and illustrate their vision for their work. Below we have included one of the most important basics to understanding film.

The Exposure Triangle: Aperture, Shutter Speed, & ISO


Aperture refers to the adjustable opening in a camera lens that controls the amount of light that enters the camera. It is measured in "f-stops," with a lower f-stop number indicating a wider aperture, and a higher f-stop number indicating a narrower aperture. The aperture also affects the depth of field, which is the area of the image that is in focus. A wide aperture (low f-stop) will result in a shallow depth of field, meaning that only a small portion of the image is in focus, while a narrow aperture (high f-stop) will result in a large depth of field, meaning that most of the image is in focus. Aperture is one of the three main settings that make up the exposure triangle, the other two are shutter speed and ISO.


Shutter speed refers to the amount of time that the camera's sensor is exposed to light. It is measured in fractions of a second, such as 1/1000, 1/60, or 1/4. A fast shutter speed (like 1/1000) will allow less light to reach the sensor, and is useful for freezing fast-moving action or for shooting in bright light conditions. A slow shutter speed (like 1/4) will allow more light to reach the sensor, and is useful for capturing motion blur or for shooting in low light conditions.

ISO is a measure of a camera's sensitivity to light. It is typically measured in numbers such as 100, 200, 400, and so on. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light and the finer the grain in the resulting image. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive the camera is to light and the more coarse the grain in the resulting image. Additionally, when shooting in low light conditions, it is often necessary to increase the ISO to allow for a faster shutter speed or a wider aperture. However, increasing the ISO also increases the amount of image noise or grain in the resulting image. Modern cameras have improved in handling high ISO and produce less noise in high ISO. It's important to find the balance that works best for the specific situation and desired outcome.


It is important to consider all three, as each element directly affects the others. Understanding these options, how they work, and how to utilize them will lead to better visualization of what you, the artist, has in mind and better communication to your camera crew.


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