Equivalent exposure: what is it and why does it matter?

Learn about equivalent exposure and how to use it in your photography.

Exposure is the overall brightness or darkness of your image, depending on how much light reaches your camera’s sensors. It’s based on three factors, known as the exposure triangle: ISO (your camera’s sensitivity to light), aperture (how large the opening of your lens is to let light in), and shutter speed (how long the lens is open).

Equivalent exposure refers to the balance of these three camera factors in order to achieve the right exposure for an image. Your camera can usually auto-adjust for these factors, but it’s good to have a basic understanding of how they work together so that you can edit your images for the right effect.

Equivalent exposure basics.

If you can visualize how the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed work together, you can get a basic sense of how changing one factor can affect the other two.

Edit your photos for more striking exposure.

You can also achieve equivalent exposure through the editing process. Focus on highlights, shadows, and black and white tones to achieve your desired lighting effects. Explore what more you can do with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to edit photos with a creative, innovative lens.