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What is Aperture?

Aperture is the setting on a camera that controls how much light passes through the lens to strike the camera sensor (or film), thus it serves as a brightness control. Aperture is expressed in f-stops such as f1.2, f8, f22, etc.

What Is Exposure Bracketing?

Exposure bracketing is when you take a series of pictures that have slightly different aperture settings. One reason to do this is if you are not certain what the best exposure is going to be. Another might be if you want to create a HDR photograph. Most cameras have a way to do this automatically, or you can do it using exposure compensation, or by manually adjusting the exposure between photos.

What Is Exposure Compensation?

Exposure Compensation allows you to adjust the light incrementally by fractions of an f-Stop to increase or decrease the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

What Is Shutter Priority Mode?

Shutter Priority Mode is for the times when the shutter speed is the primary consideration. Sporting events, that fidgety nephew of yours, birds in flight, etc. Or what if you want to do something a little artsy with your photography.

What Is Aperture Priority Mode?

Setting your camera to Aperture Priority Mode will, as the name might imply, give you direct control over the aperture, or opening of the lens. You should choose this setting when you want control over the depth of field. When you are in Aperture Priority Mode, the camera will choose the other settings for you.

What Is ISO?

ISO represents the sensitivity of your camera sensor to light. ISO can vary from 100 to as high as 25,000 or more on some digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras. The bigger the number, the more light sensed.

Sunrise on the water - sailboat silhouetted in the glow

Taking Better Sunrise Pictures

There are several factors involved in getting better than average sunrise and sunset pics. Many of these will be obvious to any experienced photographers out there. But even the pros have their areas of specialization, and if this isn’t yours, then maybe I can give you a few pointers. You can bet that I read other people’s blogs and articles to learn as much as I can.

Sunrise at the Concord Point Lighthouse

HDR Photography Basics

High Dynamic Range photography is ideal for use in situations where you have a broad range of lighting conditions, and a static or mostly static scene. An example would be an indoor shot where you want to also show the outside scenery through a window. Or maybe a landscape photograph taken in the golden hour where you want the shadows to be less prominent. It has many uses, and is also used artistically to create very colorful pictures that, although not realistic looking, are beautiful nonetheless.

HDR image of the Concord Point Lighthouse on a stormy morning

What is HDR Photography?

The simple answer is that HDR is an acronym for high dynamic range. The eye can see a much broader range of light and shadows than the current technology for digital cameras allows in a single, standard photograph.

Many newer digital cameras can process an HDR photograph using multiple exposures and merging them together. There are also a number of software options available for merging images taken across a range of exposure settings.