Exposure basics

Week 9

Functions / buttons on the camera

Camera: Nikon D5200

A – Infrared Receiver
B – Shutter Release
C – Exposure Compensation/Aperture Adjustment
D – Info Button
E – Movie Record Button
F – AF-Assist Illuminator
G – Live View Switch
H – Mode Dial
I – Flash Mode Button
J – Function Button
K – Lens Release Button

L – Infrared Receiver
M – Menu
N – Information Edit
O – AutoExposure/AutoFocus Lock Button
P – Command Dial
Q – Playback Button
R – Multi-Selector
S – OK Button
T – Playback Zoom In
U – Delete Button
V – Thumbnail/Playback Zoom Out

How to set the correct ISO

To adjust the ISO on my camera, I press the Information edit button, with the Multi-Selector I navigate to the ISO sensitivity settings and press OK. Once I have chosen the desired value, I press OK again to select it.

It is also possible to change the ISO on the fly by pressing and holding the Function button while turning the Command dial. The ISO value change will show on the viewfinder display.

The higher the ISO, the greater the amount of noise in the image. For that reason, it is advisable to use the lowest ISO possible in each situation.

How to change the aperture

When the camera is set to “Aperture Priority Mode”, I can change the aperture by turning the Command dial. If the camera is on “Manual Mode”, I need to press and hold the Aperture adjustment button while turning said dial.

How to change the shutter speed

Both in “Shutter Priority Mode” and “Manual Mode”, I can change the shutter speed on my camera by rotating the Command dial.


Part of the Learning activity was to take several photos a day applying manual settings and experimenting with different lighting, subjects or landscapes. These are the six pictures I chose from all the ones I took during the week.

ISO 200
Aperture 4.5
Shutter speed 1/1250
ISO 200
Aperture 4.5
Shutter speed 1/2000
ISO 100
Aperture 4.8
Shutter speed 1/125
ISO 200
Aperture 5.6
Shutter speed 1/80
ISO 800
Aperture 5.3
Shutter speed 1/2.5
ISO 400
Aperture 5.6
Shutter speed 1/1600

I learned a lot with this assignment, and I also realised how much more I still need to practice and experiment with the different setting of my camera to become a better photographer and take advantage of all the possibilities a DSLR offers.

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