Photography is an art which is not hard to learn. However, there is so much into it which confuses people before they start. For example, Natural light photography, Flash photography, Macro photography, Animal or Bird photography, Long exposure photography, Street photography, Exposure metering, ISO, F-Stops and Shutter speed and the list goes on and on.
This will be your one stop no bullshit article and honestly, I am going to keep it short and simple.
What you need to know is
- Smartphone cameras are getting better and advanced.
- Every digital camera has a sensor.
- Photography is all about the Exposure Triangle (shutter speed, aperture and ISO)
- Smartphones have a fixed aperture (so you don’t have to worry about it, instead we will talk about white balance)
Lets begin with over simplified definition of each component of the exposure triangle.
- Sensor will accept and record all the information you will throw at it and exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) works as a filter or controller.
- We use these filters (Shutter speed, ISO, Aperture) to control the light (ambient/natural/artificial light) going into sensor. These are three different ways to control exposure however, all three filters have alternative functions.
- Sometimes, just one filter is used and sometimes all three.
Take your phone out and look for a Expert/Pro/Manual mode. I have a Oppo Find X2 Pro running Android 11.
- Shutter speed is the length of time the camera shutter is open.
- Shutter speed ranges from 32 seconds (slow shutter speed) to 1/8000 (a fast shutter speed)
- Slow shutter speeds results letting more light in to the sensor, Fast shutter speed lets less light go in to the sensor.
- Slow shutter is used when there is less light available i.e at night, club, home, evening, sunset etc.
- Fast shutter is used to reduce the amount of light going in to the sensor.
- Fast shutter is used when the subject is moving fast for instance, a child, sportsman, airplane and car.
- ISO is a built-in feature of your camera sensor. ISO ranges from 100 (low ISO) and goes up to 32000 (high ISO). Low ISO means that the sensor will need more light to expose an image. Where as, higher ISO means that the sensor will not need more light from outside to expose a photo correctly.
- You keep the ISO at a low value (i.e 100) when shooting in good light.
- You keep the ISO at a higher value (i.e 6400) when shooting in low light situations (at night)
In simple words, The temperature of light changes and it differs from dawn to dust, from indoors to outdoors. from one room to another room. This light color temperature is recorded on a scale of 2000 Kelvin (cooler) to 8000 kelvin (Warmer)
White balance is used to adjust colors to make your subject or scenery to appear warmers, normal or cooler.
Remember, light changes its Kelvin value all the time. so you change your WB accordingly.
By no means, I am suggesting you guys to use manual mode on your Iphone or Android for general everyday photos or videos. However, If you understand the basics of exposure triangle on your phones you will have less time understanding how things work on a DSLR/Mirrorless camera.