Chapter 5: Controlling Exposure

The fundamentals of exposure are one of the most important aspects of the art of photography. Learning about each element and understanding how they work together is the key to mastering the skill of producing photographs exactly as you envision them. If you don’t have a firm knowledge of exposure settings and what each setting does you will never be able to achieve reproducible results. Exposure isn’t an exceedingly difficult concept to master, but at first it can seem a bit technical and confusing, especially if you’re new to the world of dSLR cameras. While the D7100 has a plethora of scene modes that can get reasonably good results, if you want to make photographs instead of taking pictures, you have to learn about what goes into making an exposure.


Knowing which modes and features to use in any situation allows you to get a good exposure, no matter what.

Defining Exposure

By definition an exposure is the amount of light that reaches your camera sensor during a single shutter cycle. A shutter cycle occurs when the shutter-release button is fully depressed, the reflex mirror flips up, the shutter opens and closes, the mirror flips back down into place, and the shutter resets. While all of that sounds like a mouthful, it all happens in a split second.

There are three things that determine the exposure the D7100 uses during each and every shutter ...

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