Portland, ME Photographer :: The Exposure Triangle

Last Friday, I wrote a post about three things I do for good exposure. This blog post is going to talk about three functions of the camera that can impact exposure. It’s all about the exposure triangle today!!

There are three aspects to the exposure triangle: ISO, aperture, and the shutter. Before I talk about how these three things can work together to really get you that awesome exposure, I’m going to break them down for you.


ISO is how sensitive the sensor, in your camera, is to light. If you have your camera set on a low ISO, you have low sensitivity (which is a finer photo). If you have your camera set to a high ISO, you have a high sensitivity to light (which equals more “noise,” also known as “grain.”). Basically, think of ISO as how much light you are letting into your camera – low ISO, less light; high ISO, more light.

The photo on the left has a high ISO (6400), and the photo on the right has a low ISO (200).



Aperture is how big the opening of your lens is. The way I think of it, is how much are you trying to focus on? Aperture is usually referred to as the f-stop. It’s the part of your camera where you see f/number. The logic behind aperture feels backwards, but once you get use to it, it becomes natural to think about. If you have a large aperture, the f-stop is a really small number (1/1.4, 1/1.8, 1/3.5, etc). If you have a small aperture, you have a high number for the f-stop (1/8, 1/11, 1/22, etc.).

Aperture is also related to depth of field (DOF). DOF  is how much of your photo is in focus. How does relate to aperture? Well, if you have a small depth of field (less focus), you have a small f-stop. If want a large depth of field (more focus), you have a high f-stop. Remember, small f-stop means a large aperture, and a high f-stop means you have small aperture.

Here are two photos to help demonstrate:


Photo on the left is shot at f/1.8, and the photo on the right is shot at f/11.


The shutter speed is how long your shutter is open and is measured in seconds. A slow shutter speed can result in more light and potentially more blur due to hand shake. A high shutter speed can result in the opposite.

Photo on the left has a shutter speed of 1″, and photo on the left has a shutter speed of 1/60.


How do these work together?

Essentially, you can’t change one of these three elements without impacting the other two. If you change your shutter speed to a really fast speed, then your photo may be too dark, so you may want to up your ISO, and lower your aperture. If you are shooting in manual, you have complete control of all three of these elements. If you are shooting in aperture priority mode, then you only have control over the aperture, and the camera adjusts the other two accordingly. The same with shutter priority. If you only have control over the shutter speed, the camera will adjust the other two.

My biggest suggestion is to play around in shutter and aperture priority modes, just so you can see how all three of them relate and change based on the other settings. It’s neat to figure out on your camera.

Here are a few quick tips to try out in different situations:

– If you’re shooting in a dark room, increase your ISO.

– If you’re shooting in a really bright situation, crank up your shutter speed and lower your ISO, so that it doesn’t blow out your photo.

– I really like having a small depth of field, so I shoot at f/1.8 or f/2. For every person you add into a frame, you want to increase your aperture by one stop for each person. Typically, I’ll shoot at f/3.5 for three people or more. It’s also important to place your focus point on the person closest to you, because the camera can create focus behind that point, but not in front of it.

– You’re in a dark room, but don’t want to increase your ISO? Get out a tripod, and use a slow shutter speed, and a small f-stop.


Little Miss. A; Linda Barry Photography; Portland ME Photographer

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing the cutest little girl with her mom and dad! We were fortunate enough to be able to do the session in the comfort of their own home — which is absolutely gorgeous, by the way! I’ll admit, that Addison didn’t quite seem too fond of the idea of having a stranger taking photos of her, but we made it through!

After this session, I can say with absolute certainty that the little ones will always dictate the session, and that is totally okay. It’s also super important to give the family space and allow mom and dad to have control of making their little one happy! If it wasn’t for Justin and Krissie, there’s no way this session would have turned out as well as it did. They were so patient and obviously knew what their girl wanted and needed! They helped keep her laughing and moving from one activity to the next. Take a look at the memories I was able to capture of this precious family!!


She had the most adorable room! I swear, this family was straight out of a fabulous magazine.

The bubbles were an EXCELLENT idea! You go, mom and dad! 🙂


Love the effect of natural light! This little lady was just too cute! 2013-01-23_0004 2013-01-23_0005

This was after I had let her use my camera to take a photo of mom and dad. She was a little happier, but just wanted to see the photo! 🙂


Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t pass up a photo of food! Krissie gave me a cookie for the drive home, but you best believe that it was gone before I even got to the end of the road! It was delicious!!


Daddy’s girl 🙂


They were reading the cutest book – Thank You God for Daddy. How precious is that??!2013-01-23_0009 2013-01-23_0010 2013-01-23_0011 2013-01-23_0012 2013-01-23_0013

At this point I was “auntie!” She kept saying “come on, auntie!”2013-01-23_0014 2013-01-23_0015

This photo would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Justin’s quick thinking! He was lifting her up in the air (which she giggled like crazy at) and then swung her around real quick and they all leaned in for a photo while she was super happy!! Again — trust the parents!!

2013-01-23_0016This was such a fun session, and I’m so thankful that they chose me to capture these memories of their family before Addison’s 2nd birthday! 🙂

❤ Linda

A Portrait of Anyone; Winter Photo Challenge; Linda Barry Photography

I’ve been kind of following along with the Awesomesauce Winter Photo Challenge, which has turned into every other week or so. Oops 😦 haha. But, I still try to make it when I can! Week 9 is a portrait of anyone, and so I decided to use my sister! She’s easily my best friend and an awesome roommate! We have a ton of fun together, whether it’s watching Tia& Tamera, working out with a Jillian Michael’s DVD or eating eggless cookie dough! She rocks, and she’s so gorgeous! I kept this week’s theme pretty simple and focused on her tattoo, “Just Breathe,” which was done by our uncle Brian at Ace N Eight’s Tattoo Gallery!


2013 Fitness Goals; Linda Barry Photography; Portland ME Photographer


Everyone always makes a new year’s resolution, or many, as the end of each year comes to a close. Many people don’t stick to them, and many of them do! I try to set realistic goals for myself that I feel are important enough to me to keep me motivated to actually stick to them! Instead of making “resolutions” per se, I decided to create some fitness goals that I felt I could accomplish this year. Getting myself healthy is super important to me, and is a non-negotiable when it comes to starting a family in the future. If I don’t take care of myself, everything else will fall apart! Keeping a balanced life between relaxation, work, and play is something I totally strive for!

Here is my list of fitness goals for 2013!

#1. Do handstand push-ups

#2. Run from my apartment, to back bay, around back bay, and back home without stopping.

#3. Be able to climb a 5.10

#4. Be able to boulder a blue square at the Maine Rock Gym

#5. Have a six-pack 🙂

#6. Work out and do yoga, on a regular, frequent basis.

#7. Be able to squat 135 pounds.

#8. Bench press 80 pounds.

#9. Have awesome back muscles!

#10. Be able to run a 5k in under 30 minutes.

#11. Be able to do ten pull ups.

#12. Improve my running form to be more natural.

What are some of your goals for 2013?? Stay tuned for a post about some of my business goals for 2013!