Exposure Basics, lesson three?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
noirdesir Forum Pro • Posts: 13,495
Suggestions for graphical representation

Najinsky wrote:

The exposure triangle is useful in overcoming the new student's fear of the camera controls. At the introductory level of the students I was teaching, most had a fear that they didn't know what the camera controls were or how to use them. Most were shooting auto, all were shooting JPEG, even though some had DSLRs.

If the key message is to show that there are three parameters, something as simple as this would work as well:

And if you want to present them in a triangle shape, this would work as well:

But if you want to make clear from the beginning that f-stop and shutter speed are not the in same category as ISO, you could use a graph like this (but this could easily wait until the second lesson):

You essentially said what this graph shows in your own words in your long post as a reply to me. So, this could illustrate the point your were making anyway.

This diagram shows you the three settings the camera is deciding for you (cue the exposure triangle diagram). Lets look at each one in turn.

Arranging three parameters in a triangular shape is perfectly fine with me. But I don't see the need to call it the 'exposure triangle', to me it is just 'the three basic parameters'.

However, once you put scales on the edges, you imply that it could be used to calculate something, that like in a diagram with two perpendicular axes, each point can be used read the position on the scales at the edges. And this is what the real 'exposure triangle' does, and when you talked about the 'exposure triangle', I naturally assumed you meant the proper version. And showing that to absolute beginners, is not really helpful because they won't know how to read it. It just looks 'scientific', and while it can be used for calculations, I doubt it is really used by anybody except during a lecture where it is shown.

And this is not the only graphical representation that could be used to provide numerical results, there are others like this one:

I don't use it to try to explain those things. Only to help overcome their fear of the camera controls, in a way that relates to what the camera is already doing when the shoot on auto. And then to confirm those three settings are now understood sufficiently to start building on.

My point is, you could keep your programme exactly as you presented it here but by avoiding to assign certain names, you could avoid that these words get associated with something that later has to be dissociated again. As I said, instead of using the word 'exposure triangle', saying 'the three basic parameters' when showing the most basic triangle fulfils exactly the same purpose.

Or take the triangle you were showing. Why does it have to have one axis labelled in a different direction than the real exposure triangle? If they later come across the real triangle they will get confused. In short, if there is no good didactic reason to deviate from the correct terminology but you deviate nevertheless, it is sloppy work.

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