When it comes to understanding how light changes the result of your photos, one of the most important factors to consider is your camera settings. “If you aren’t familiar with the exposure triangle this would be the perfect place to start,” says Northey.
The exposure triangle explains three main camera settings that control how much light is entering your camera. These include aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
Consider a well-lit scene like shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day. Here, you could use a faster shutter speed, usually somewhere between 1/200 to 1/4000 and a lower ISO number, typically ISO 100. This will ensure your photo is not overexposed or too bright. When it comes to aperture, you might be restricted to using a narrower aperture or a larger f-stop number.
At night, the opposite is true. Often you need a slower shutter speed such as 1/100 or even slower if capturing motion blur, a wider aperture such as f/2.8 and a higher ISO number like ISO 800 to brighten up the overall scene. Shooting at night has its challenges, but it also opens opportunities to experiment in other ways by using slower shutter speeds.