Understanding F/Stops & Stops in Photography Exposure

Understanding the f/stop scale is the key to achieving a correct exposure.How f/stop work, how they can be changed and what they mean will help you in your search for great photographic imagery.Our article here gives you all the f/stop know-how. You just have to put it into practice.

close up of changing f/stop on a DSLR camera

What Is a F/Stop?

In photography, a ‘f/stop’ is a measurement of an exposure. We already know that an exposure is made from the settings, making up the exposure triangle.  These settings are in fact the infamous shutter speed, ISO or aperture.To be specific, if you were to increase the exposure by one stop, you would be doubling the exposure. Decreasing the exposure by one stop is having it.

So, for example, suppose your aperture is f/4, shutter speed is 1/100 and ISO is 100. If you keep the aperture at f/4 and the shutter speed at 1/100 but you increased the ISO to 200, you have increased the exposure by one stop. Doubling the ISO makes the exposure twice as sensitive, hence the settings jump in single stops.

It can get a little bit confusing but it’s really important that you learn this, and here’s why…

As your skills as a photographer improve, you will start to shoot in manual more often. As this happens you gain more and more control over how the camera exposes the scene.Knowing what one stop can do for the shutter speed, ISO and the aperture will affect how you change each one.

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