Skill level

  • Beginner

Course objectives

What you'll learn by the end of this course

  • What aperture, shutter, and ISO do

  • What a "stop" is and how to use it to balance the Exposure Triangle

  • How to use shutter speed for creative photography

  • How changing aperture affects light and focus

  • When and how to use Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes

Prerequisites

What do you need?

  • Access to a camera with adjustable aperture, shutter, and ISO

  • Have that camera's manual available (electronic or print) for assignments

Time to complete

  • Minimum of two hours

Features - Exposure Triangle For Beginners course

This isn't just a collection of videos!

  • 10 instructional videos

    Short videos take you through every aspect of the exposure triangle in a clear, concise manner. Each video is accompanied by text and photos.

  • 5 quizzes

    Four quizzes throughout the Exposure Triangle course are correctable to 100%. Then a final exam tests what you've learned!

  • 4 exercises

    You'll have four exercises throughout the Exposure Triangle course, one of which you can turn in for feedback. Reinforce learning and practice what you learned!

"As someone who has rarely done anything other than shoot pictures in Auto mode, this course helped me understand how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affect each other. The explanation of priority modes has made me much more willing and excited to try out new photography methods and stretch way beyond the Auto mode." - Bart T


"I am looking to improve my photography skills so that I can enhance my photo quality. Learning basics, like the Exposure Triangle, has helped me understand how a camera works. This course was relatively easy to follow. The content breakdown, the use of video and text helps simplify what is a tricky subject to get your head around." - Martin P


"This is a great great course. I've read about these basic things in various places - and I never really understood it. The mix with video, text, and quizzes are really helpful for actually learning." - Tina J

"As a complete beginner to photography I found this course provided an excellent starting point to understanding the variables in the exposure triangle and how cameras work." - Rob O

It's time to get out of AUTO

Start taking those creative photos you've always wanted to!

Take that dial out of AUTO and start making long-exposure photos, blurred backgrounds, and proper exposures.
This basic photography exposure tutorial will walk you through everything you need to understand and reinforce your learning with quizzes and exercises throughout the course.

Curriculum - Exposure Triangle For Beginners course

  • 01

    Welcome to the course!

    • Introduction to Exposure

    • Exposure Triangle Study Guide

  • 02

    The Basic Camera

    • History of Camera Exposures

    • The Sensor

    • The Shutter

    • The Aperture

    • Quiz: The Basic Camera

    • Exercise: Camera Familiarization

  • 03

    Stopping Light

    • Defining a Stop

    • Stopping with ISO, Shutter, and Aperture

    • Quiz: Stopping Light

  • 04

    The Exposure Triangle

    • Aperture and Shutter Relationship

    • Making it a Triangle by Adding ISO

    • Quiz: The Exposure Triangle

  • 05

    Your Exposure Triangle Calculator

    • Introduction to Priority Modes

    • ISO and Exposure Compensation

    • Quiz: Your Exposure Triangle Calculator

  • 06

    Exposure Triangle Final Exam

    • End of Course Survey

    • Final Test

    • Final Exercise: Get Out of AUTO

Reviews

Kelsey Jackson

5 star rating

“This course helped me understand the basics of photography in such a short amount of time. Its so easy to understand John and the analogies he gives really helps everything stick. Amazing job highly recommend! ”

“This course helped me understand the basics of photography in such a short amount of time. Its so easy to understand John and the analogies he gives really helps everything stick. Amazing job highly recommend! ”

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Louise Pelissier

5 star rating

“Exposure Triangle for Beginners: for decades I've been trying to understand Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, Exposure, Depth of Field, and "stops", to name just a few things. Passively looking at videos on these topics didn't help, nor did people's...”

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“Exposure Triangle for Beginners: for decades I've been trying to understand Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, Exposure, Depth of Field, and "stops", to name just a few things. Passively looking at videos on these topics didn't help, nor did people's explanations. Thanks to the structure and content of Mr. Peltier's course, I was actively engaged with quizzes and worksheets and that helped me start to learn these things. This course is a great foundation for me to continue learning and expressing myself through photography.”

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basant kumar

5 star rating

“This course is the best way to understand the whole basic concept of setting the Exposure. It really helped me. ”

“This course is the best way to understand the whole basic concept of setting the Exposure. It really helped me. ”

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William Stinchcomb

5 star rating

“sequential, progressive and devoid of extraneous information. No information overload. ”

“sequential, progressive and devoid of extraneous information. No information overload. ”

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Nathan Kapner

5 star rating

“Easy to understand and very informative . Extremely well taught as to why it's. important to know the numbers associated with the triangle and how to manipulate them to maintain. exposure and still get the results you want. ”

“Easy to understand and very informative . Extremely well taught as to why it's. important to know the numbers associated with the triangle and how to manipulate them to maintain. exposure and still get the results you want. ”

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Test McTest

5 star rating

“I'm not a photographer in the traditional sense but I found this course extremely helpful for improving my real estate photos. Easy to understand and the quizzes were an awesome addition.”

“I'm not a photographer in the traditional sense but I found this course extremely helpful for improving my real estate photos. Easy to understand and the quizzes were an awesome addition.”

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Richard Bolf

5 star rating

“I think it is excellent and covers all the basics”

“I think it is excellent and covers all the basics”

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Your instructor

I have a unique background in education that started in the U.S. Air Force where I was an F-15E flight instructor for ten years and wrote F-15E training curricula. I continued to teach helicopter lessons after transitioning to civilian life.
But I soon discovered my passion was telling stories through photography. I'm now an accredited associate photographer with Photographers Without Borders and have worked on documentary projects around the world, and have also taught photography on three continents. I've been a professional photographer for nearly ten years, having been published in places like New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Tahoe Quarterly, and National Geographic Online. Photography is a joy that everyone should have access to, and I'd like to pass it on to you also!

John Peltier

Photography Instructor