Understanding Aperture, ISO, White Balance, and Shutter Speed
White BalanceWhite Balance affects the balance of the images; it could make it warmer or cooler. This has a massive effect on the feel of the image. There are a number of settings that could be chosen on a DSLR and cameras that corresponds to the current lighting, for example cloudy, sunny, fluorescent etc. Below are several examples of the same object taken at different settings.
Different settings give off a different feel to the image, for example the incandescent white balance setting, gives a very cool aura to the image. The white balance of the image should always be taken into consideration before photographing as it dictates the colour the image, a mismatched white balance could potentially have degrading effect on the quality of the image, or turn your whites into yellow. This shows unprofessionalism and makes your work appear amateurish, unless that is the feel you are going for.
ISO, dictates the sensitivity of your cameras sensor to the light, it has different ranges depending on how light and dark it is. It is vital to stick to relatively low ISO at most times, to prevent noise and keep most of the details on your images. Normally a lower ISO such as 100 is used when photographing in brightly lit situations, whilst Hi.2 is used when photographing stars in complete darkness. Below are examples of the same object photographed in different ISO settings.
As you can see the higher ISO setting completely washes out the images in light, this has occurred because a higher ISO setting is normally used when it is far darker. It is important to take into consideration the ISO setting you are using, it is always advised to stay in a lower ISO setting as there is some manoeuvrability within post-production to change its brightness, however a photo shot in a high ISO setting such as the one above does not.
Aperture is the number that shows the size of the iris of the camera, it is measure in f/stop, a low aperture such as f/1.8 means that the iris is wide open, whilst f/13 is almost closed. The aperture dictates the amount of light that is let into camera sensor. This also dictates the depth of field within the shot, a lower f/stop means a low depth of field (background blurred) whilst a higher f/stop means that the foreground and background are almost both in focus. Below are photographs of the same object with different apertures.
As you can see from these images, the lower f/stop allowed lots of light to enter into the lens, making the image bright and very sharp, but making the background blurred because it has a high depth of field, whilst the image with the higher f/stop is dark, and not as sharp, the background is now not blurred but in focus. The aperture of your lens should always be taken into consideration as it dictates the feel of the image.Shutter SpeedShutter speed also known as exposure is the length that the cameras shutter is open, this once again dictates the amount of light that goes into the cameras sensor, it can range from Bulb mode to 1 second to upwards of 1/1000. The higher the shutter speed the less light will enter, but this will allow you to photograph very fast moving objects and freeze it, lower shutter speed below 1/60 will give any moving objects motion blur, although this is not bad, as this will give your images a dynamic feel to it. Below are examples of the same objects photographed with different shutter speed settings.
As you can see from the images, the image with the longer shutter speed allowed more light to go into the cameras sensor thus washing out the image in white, whilst the bottom in image with a shorter shutter speed, just allowed enough light for a balance shot. It is important to take into consideration the shutter speed, whether you want photograph fast moving objects or take long exposures.