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Photo 101 : Shutter Speed & Aperture < Previous | Next >
Let’s look at how shutter speed works. When you press the shutter button, a camera exposes the sensor to light for a brief amount of time. Most of the time, the exposure is less than a second, and a metal curtain opens and closes to expose the sensor to the light.

Here's how the shutter looks like
Shutter speeds are denoted in seconds, but because most of the time the exposures are really quick, many of the shutter speeds are actually in fractions of a second. The chart below shows how typical shutter speeds are described.
Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens that allows through. Aperture is formed by a series of metal blades that control the size of the opening. The metal blades can open up or close down to control the amount of light that passes through. A smaller opening lets less light through, and a larger opening lets more light through.
Aperture is denoted by f-stops. Take a look at the following chart of aperture.
The larger the size of the opening, the smaller the number. The smaller the size of the opening, the larger the number. For example, f/4 represents a larger opening than f/16. Why? Because an f-stop is actually a form of fraction, so f/4 can be understood as ¼ and f/16 can be understood as 1/16. Everyone understands that ¼ is larger than 1/16, so that makes it easier to understand aperture.

Take some time to digest the above explanation. I need you to fully comprehend these before we can move on, and I promise that once you understand aperture and shutter, everything else is going to be much simpler! Ok. Let’s proceed once you’re sure you’ve grasped the concept.
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