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Watch Photography Exposure Basics on YouTube

Ever wondered how your camera's exposure works?  How to get the really shallow depth of field or stop a long jumper in mid flight?  Read on!  If you would like to improve your photography then you absolutely must know this, backwards, forwards and upside down.  One day it should 'just click' and you get it, but until then watch this video a lot until you do. 

Your camera does a great job of calculating the exposure with its built in light meter, BUT it has no idea what type of photograph you want to create.  I mention in the video in my mind's eye I create photos in aperture priority, then transmit those settings to the camera.  As you may know my primary subject matter is portraits and I prefer to have a shallow DOF (Depth of Field) and then set everything from there.  ISO should be as low as possible, but not at the expense of a sharp image with a slow shutter speed.  The magic number in shutter speeds is 1/60th of a second, which is usually fast enough to capture people standing still without any motion blur and will also keep camera shake to a minimum.

Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee Art Museum by Cazillo, on Flickr

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0 # Melanie 2011-05-12 10:45
This is a great video...Thanks so much...I have been looking for this information on video. I have watched a lot of your videos and you have been a great help! Thanks :o)
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+1 # Alex 2011-05-12 10:47
Hey Greg,
great video!! You explained everything nicely. But I think you forgot ISO 200 on your board..
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+6 # Adam Hagerman 2011-05-12 10:56
MAN!! Professor Cazillo!!!! I'm glad your putting out some videos! good job! Great intro to the basics!
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0 # Scott 2011-05-12 11:03
Very nicely done, Greg!
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0 # Gail 2011-05-12 11:28
Great video, Greg! Keeps it fresh in my head, for sure!
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+1 # Cucuit 2011-05-12 11:34
Great video Greg! lot of info and really good explained.
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+1 # Nate 2011-05-12 11:35
Great first video Greg! Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge with us newbs!
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0 # Kevin Atwell 2011-05-12 11:44
Great video !! Thanks Greg
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0 # Jeff 2011-05-12 12:05
Great video Greg, I never really had that great of understanding how you can add or remove from one of the 3 and decide where to put or remove from the others. This was very helpful, thanks!
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0 # Mario 2011-05-12 12:27
Hey Greg,

Great work. Now I know what went wrong when I was experimenting with my new 50 1.8 last night. I look forward to the next one.
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+2 # Mike 2011-05-12 12:33
Great first video. That basically covered 3 weeks of my photography class in 12 minutes. You should start giving small assignments at the end of each video and a place to post them so that we can practice what we learn. Good job.
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+1 # carol 2011-05-12 12:56
Excellent explanation that should help anyone who wants to start shooting manual.
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+1 # darren murray 2011-05-12 12:59
sweet video thanks greg one of the things i stumble on is what setting should i be changing first to get my image how i want now your vid makes things a lot clearer thanks man!!! :)
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+1 # darren murray 2011-05-12 13:27
hey yeah i agree assignments would be a great idea !!
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+1 # MeShootingYou 2011-05-12 13:48
At about 9 minutes i think you meant ISO not shutter. "That is more important than keeping a low shutter speed"

Great video otherwise. Looking forward to see some more advanced videos in the future. Thanks Greg!
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0 # Angel 2011-05-12 13:48
Good stuff! Great first video.
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+2 # Richard Guadagno 2011-05-12 14:40
Great first video. Keep up the great work. I like that younger starting from the basics, and looknforwardnto thenmore advancendown the road.
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+1 # Freddie 2011-05-12 14:46
awesome video, very informative. now i feel i have a better understanding of the triangle. i have seen a bunch of videos on this subject and this one really clarified it in my head. thanks Greg
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+7 # @jbouille 2011-05-12 14:59
Great first video Greg - enjoyed the teacher approach and the whiteboard ;-D
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+4 # Michael 2011-05-12 15:24
Great Mr. Cazillo.

Nice to see that you haven´t lost your touch making great videos :-).
Let them keep coming.

Thanks.
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+1 # Brian 2011-05-12 15:27
Awesome video and explanation. I really like how you explained converting the cameras program setting to a personal setting in order to achieve the image you need, but still maintain correct exposure.
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0 # mo 2011-05-12 16:27
top marks a1
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+1 # Veloutephotography.c 2011-05-12 16:47
Well done Greg, very clear and informative video! Keep on goin' :)
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0 # Clair 2011-05-12 16:55
Thanks Greg.. I recently went on a photography course & you just refreshed a couple of things I'd forgotten.

I like the white board - Having things written makes them easier to understand.

Clair
xxx
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+1 # mo 2011-05-12 17:00
Quoting mo:
top marks a1

ps thanks for the add on flick
team factor
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+3 # Chris Ianke 2011-05-12 17:06
That was an awesome video. Using the board like that makes it soooooo much better for a beginner like me to see what you are doing. If the videos keep up this quality consider me hooked. First rate!!!!!
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0 # ian 2011-05-12 17:23
Nice one Greg, keep em coming.
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+1 # Harvz 2011-05-12 17:51
i had a good concept of what each setting did but this helped cement it and i learnt a bit too. like each f stop halving the light and focus being 1/3 in front and 2/3s being. thanks Mr C
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0 # pujit 2011-05-12 18:06
Exactly like you said! QUALITY AND ONLY QUALITY IS COMING! Superb!! waitING for next video.
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0 # Hu Bert 2011-05-12 18:23
Nice Job, didn't know that this could be so easy, well done.
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0 # Keri 2011-05-12 19:01
Great video, very informative, i'll be sending this too all my friends who have recently bought, or are about to buy dSLRs, saves me the trouble of explaining it all :)
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+1 # dawood 2011-05-12 19:12
very good.. good start.. keep going..
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+1 # AndrewCockerillPhoto 2011-05-12 19:30
Brilliant. Ive Been doing photography for a while and have tried to get my head around this. Ive always used the back of the camera to show me if my exposure was right or wrong. now thanks to this it makes perfect sense and it's so simple! thank you Greg. I'm off now to learn the primary numbers!
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+1 # Flavio Filho 2011-05-12 20:05
Great Video! Already in my Facebook Page! It's time to share really good stuff! :)
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+2 # Steve St-Pierre 2011-05-12 20:12
Good video Greg, but from iso 400 to 100 is 2 stops!
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+2 # Jeff 2011-05-12 20:17
Everything was explained perfectly though my only suggestion would be to add the threshold of freezing action 1/250 or faster.

I think it was also smart to start with the foundation of exposure and build off of that too! Great video thank you for the time it takes to shoot/edit/post the video too.
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+1 # Al 2011-05-12 20:49
Nice video.

By the way (an I am sure you know this but your viewers might not), the term "reciprocity" is used to describe the relationship between ISO, Shutter, and Aperture, and it is actually an inverse relationship (when one goes up, the other has to go down).

I agree with you about using manual mode to learn reciprocity. When I was a young guy, all that you had were manual cameras (and the film was rated in ASA!).

Again, great start.
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+2 # Marcelo Eler 2011-05-12 22:54
Great video Greg! Thanks! I have plenty of friends that asks me this kind of explanation and everytime I have to talk about these three basic settings. Now I'm sharing this video on facebook so they can what and also share.

best regards man!
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+1 # Gary Thursby 2011-05-12 23:53
Great video Greg! I like how you said in your minds eye your always thinking in aperture priority mode. I do too! Thats why I think pro cameras are easier to shoot in. No scene modes to confuse anyone. Set the f stop for type of dept of field you want, and keep iso as low as you can. If the shutter speed is to long to cause camera shake then raise the iso to get a faster shutter speed! Nice work Greg! :lol:
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0 # Wes 2011-05-13 02:30
Love the information you provided in this video, it is just the kind of help I am looking for. I hope you will keep doing videos with this level of technical information.
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+1 # Daniel Herrler 2011-05-13 02:56
Now, that´s what I call a valuable video tutorial. Very good, thanks a lot!
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+2 # Mark Stothard 2011-05-13 04:15
Great Video Greg !!!

But isn't 400 to 100 iso 2 stops?

Sorry did I miss something?
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0 # Geert Kerkvliet 2011-05-13 04:26
ISO 800 to ISO 100 is 3 stops, not 2.

ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800...
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0 # Melissa Latch 2011-05-13 05:36
I have really appreciated your previous videos and work. Good for you on the new gig. Keep up the good work! Your humility shines though your teaching. It makes it easier to be a student. Thank you!
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0 # Chris Bourne 2011-05-13 06:44
Great work greg - something all beginners need to get their head around at some stage - summed up well.

Personally, I tend to shoot in aperture priority with ISO manually set - that way I control noise and DOF but let the camera sort out exposure.

One thing that maybe could have made things clearer would be reversing the order of ISO....
As it is left to right moving the aperture makes the image less exposed, moving the shutter speed makes the image less exposed but moving the iso makes the image more exposed.

Keep it up - looking forward to some more advanced stuff ;)

I certainly learned something - when you were talking about the 1/3 in front of the focal point and 2/3 behind it being in focus.
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+1 # Shawn Thompson 2011-05-13 07:34
Great video Greg, really appreciate it. Cant wait for some videos on flash photography
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0 # ori 2011-05-13 10:26
great video greg!it's a real pleasure to learn from you.
waiting for more advanced videos.
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0 # Bob Welch 2011-05-13 13:41
Great start, Greg. you come across as someone who knows what he is talking about without sounding like a "know it all." I think you skipped ISO 200, though. Keep it up! :-)
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0 # Kevin 2011-05-13 16:03
Great to see you in front of the camera again!
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0 # stephane 2011-05-13 18:24
Hi Greg
i usually do not leave comments but here that was full of information for me
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0 # Toph 2011-05-14 09:46
Thanks Greg. Great video!
I'm struggling to get a correct exposure in manual mode do you mean the best way to get it is to check the exposure in Aperture Priority mode for example and then apply changes in manual mode in function of the scene and the effect we are looking for?
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0 # Robert Williams 2011-05-14 11:27
Great video Greg, but one thing ya need to do....Grow the beard back. :lol: Just kidding, love the way you explain everything so even an ole redneck like me can understand it.
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+1 # Pepi Edwards 2011-05-15 08:18
Thanks for the great detailed vid Greg =)
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0 # Russ 2011-05-15 11:34
Nice video Greg thanks. As an idea it would be cool if you could follow this up later with a more advanced exposure video looking at the zone system. Thanks
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+2 # Michael Schneider 2011-05-15 18:16
Really great explanation! I think this is the first time I understood how to actually calculate the stops, ISO etc.

Keep on!
Micha
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+2 # Gregory Cazillo 2011-05-16 09:12
Quoting Toph:
Thanks Greg. Great video!
I'm struggling to get a correct exposure in manual mode do you mean the best way to get it is to check the exposure in Aperture Priority mode for example and then apply changes in manual mode in function of the scene and the effect we are looking for?

Not exactly, your camera has a meter inside the viewfinder, use to get proper exposure in manual mode.
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-2 # John.B 2011-05-20 13:02
@ Mike
"Great first video. That basically covered 3 weeks of my photography class in 12 minutes. You should start giving small assignments at the end of each video and a place to post them so that we can practice what we learn. Good job."

Good advice.
Jared just do the assignment thing. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOL

Once again Greg is overwhelmed. He just can't keep up with Jared. He's far behind, and his 1 video per week just buried all he's ardor. Jared just stole the ideea and put it into practice . . . many ideeas will be lost by Greg, because he's to slow . . . to slow to keep it up.
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+3 # Gregory Cazillo 2011-05-20 13:35
Quoting John.B:
@ Mike
"Great first video. That basically covered 3 weeks of my photography class in 12 minutes. You should start giving small assignments at the end of each video and a place to post them so that we can practice what we learn. Good job."

Good advice.
Jared just do the assignment thing. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Once again Greg is overwhelmed. He just can't keep up with Jared. He's far behind, and his 1 video per week just buried all he's ardor. Jared just stole the ideea and put it into practice . . . many ideeas will be lost by Greg, because he's to slow . . . to slow to keep it up.

I am not in competition with Jared, where do you get that idea? I am doing my OWN THING at my OWN PACE. If I wanted to have a forum/assignmen ts section on the website I could have it up in 2 hours. Jared and I talked about doing the assignments thing many months ago, I'm glad to see he's putting it into action. I on the other hand have a different take on things. If I start an assignment program that means I need to dedicate time to give the readers feedback which I don't know if I can do right now. I'd much rather give the information I can at my own pace than overextend myself and then my brand and viewers suffer. You tell me, which would you rather have me do? Something halfassed or be 110% dedicated?
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0 # John.B 2011-05-20 13:47
@ Cazzilo
I am not in competition with Jared, where do you get that idea? I am doing my OWN THING at my OWN PACE. If I wanted to have a forum/assignmen ts section on the website I could have it up in 2 hours. Jared and I talked about doing the assignments thing many months ago, I'm glad to see he's putting it into action. I on the other hand have a different take on things. If I start an assignment program that means I need to dedicate time to give the readers feedback which I don't know if I can do right now. I'd much rather give the information I can at my own pace than overextend myself and then my brand and viewers suffer. You tell me, which would you rather have me do? Something halfassed or be 110% dedicated?


My man, you are 5% (or less) dedicated to this right now. From 5% to 110% you it is a loooooooooong, loooooooong way ahead.
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+2 # Gregory Cazillo 2011-05-20 13:58
Quoting John.B:

My man, you are 5% (or less) dedicated to this right now. From 5% to 110% you it is a loooooooooong, loooooooong way ahead.

You don't know me or what I'm about. You also have no reason to think my dedication level is "5%". Just because I put up 1 video a week (better quality, less BS) doesn't mean I'm not dedicated. Come back to me in a year and see my dedication level.
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-3 # John.B 2011-05-21 01:59
Quoting Gregory Cazillo:
Quoting John.B:

My man, you are 5% (or less) dedicated to this right now. From 5% to 110% you it is a loooooooooong, loooooooong way ahead.

You don't know me or what I'm about. You also have no reason to think my dedication level is "5%". Just because I put up 1 video a week (better quality, less BS) doesn't mean I'm not dedicated. Come back to me in a year and see my dedication level.



It is OK if you want to do in a year what you can do in 2 weeks. See ya in ONE year. I'm so disappointed . . .
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0 # John.B 2011-05-21 02:08
@Cazillo

it seems like you don't catch the ideea. We all support you because we need that photo information TODAY. And you just told us to wait a year. THX, but I think I will get my answers elsewhere. Good luck with your ONE YEAR PROJECT. I will guide my childrens to your site, when they grow up. Until then you will finish your project. Good luck!
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+2 # Charles Ivan 2011-05-28 06:58
oh my..
dont mind the distractors Greg.
yes i feel that you and Jared work better when you guys are together. but for someone to say you are behind Jared is really out of line specially if there is no competition between the two.

everyone has their own thing.
like Jared is more of funky guy that mess around in the videos to keep it more entertaining.
and you are more of the technical guy that explains the fundamentals really well and make it more precise (no BS as you said and all useful informations to make it simple)

personally i dont know what happened between you and jared. im gonna miss your collaborations specially in the RAW edit. but goodluck with your site my man.
so far you've been doing pretty well!

keep it up!
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0 # jose 2011-05-31 00:58
i still have a hard time getting the right exposure. but, i have learned something from this video. thanks Greg. :D
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0 # Keith 2011-09-13 18:29
You're a HERO in my books. I love your tutorial on FLASH exposure.
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+1 # art 2012-01-21 18:49
Not sure I think I am mixed up more now.
What happen to iso 200 and how does it work in there also what happens if you are at f3 etc. I always find samples are better to have during tutorials just saying.

But I am glad I found your site due to the way you explain things and your voice is very clear and English which always helps...lol


How about doing one with natural light, outdoors, window etc with cheaper lens that a beginner would being using because I don't think to many of us can afford $2000 lens. I only ask because it seems there is lots of videos showing us beginners how to take pictures but it just seems they are always shot with what we would never start out with.

I have a 50mm 1.8g - 18-55mm and a 200mm with a nikon d5000. I know that we can shoot great photos with these lens but just can't find any videos with the cheaper end of the photography scale equipment being used.
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+1 # art 2012-01-21 18:50
sorry had to cut my comment short because it kept saying to long.
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0 # Bruce Gough 2012-08-05 14:39
I am about to retire and know I can't just sit down and stay bored and inactive. So after thinking what I could do that I'd like, I decided on photography. I got a DSLR D5100 and the more I practice with it the more I can hardly wait for retirement day. Also I don't know anything about photography and thank you very much for your courses on the internet. I have learned so much that I'm not scared of the camera any more and look forward to shooting every chance I get. Thank you.... You are making a very happy, almost retired person.
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0 # Gregory Cazillo 2012-08-05 17:27
Glad you are enjoying them! Keep shooting ;)
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0 # Md Zia 2012-10-20 10:05
Hi Greg Thanks for your video. Really help full information for me.
and the way of explaining very good
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0 # AudiGuy 2013-05-24 17:27
Question about shooting sports indoors (volleyball) with not soo good of lighting.. I use 50mm lens.. What is a good setting for this? I tend to bump my shutter speed to about 1/400 and at 2.8 but it seems underexposed. Should I crank ISO up to 2000?

Thanks.
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0 # Usman Mustafa 2014-04-02 07:44
Hi Cozello
I am new to photography and going to buy a Nikon 3200 today. Of most the tutorials, I have watched on internet/youtub e, I find you the best teacher. Going to try to follow all your instruction and tips. Thankyou for your utmost knowledge sharing.
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0 # Melissa Stull 2014-09-19 20:47
Great video, Greg! I'm a student and this wasn't explained nearly as well in my course. The video brings it all together.
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