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What is Exposure Value in a Camera? 

Posted by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery on

What is Exposure Value in a Camera? 

Exposure is so important when you are taking pictures. It can be measured by something called exposure value (EV). 

Exposure value is a number that combines aperture and shutter speed. It represents how much light is in the scene and what setting will give you the right exposure. 

This article will talk about exposure value and how it related to aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. 

The Exposure Value Chart

In the past, photographers had to rely on their eyes and trial and error to get the perfect camera settings. Now EV charts can be used to help them find the right settings based on the amount of light in the scene. 

An exposure chart shows the aperture on the top and the shutter speed in the left column. If you match your f/stop to the shutter speed and find the intersection, the number will represent how much light is in the scene when the ISO is set to 100. 

How to Use EV Value in the Real World

Just looking at an EV chart won’t tell you much. But once you start using it, you will become familiar with the various settings and the amount of light required at that time. 

For example, EV 16 represents a bright sunny day, EV10 is just after sunset or before sunrise, EV6 is a home interior. 

When you get familiar with what atmosphere each EV setting represents, you will start figuring out what your shutter speed and aperture should be set to. 

It’s important to note that different aperture and shutter speeds can provide the same EV. That’s because there can be many ways to expose the scene properly. 

How Does Iso Affect Exposure Value?

EV is figured when ISO is at 100. But you don’t have to hold that as a constant. 

If the EV is doubled, it will add a stop of light. This will allow you to deduct a stop of light from the aperture or shutter speed.

Why Don’t Modern Cameras Have an EV Setting? 

You may wonder why cameras don’t just have an EV setting. The reason is that it would limit photographic options and creativity. It would automatically set your exposure based on other conditions that exist and it would not allow you to change the exposure if you wanted to. 

EV and Semi-Automatic Modes

While EVs don’t exist in modern cameras, there are features that replace it. The brightness value is one example. Your camera will also work to adjust aperture and shutter speeds to keep your EV constant.

If you don’t like the results the camera is producing, you may want to move to manual mode. 

ND filters are an example of when you want to shoot in manual mode. They will reduce the light coming into your camera and your camera will overcompensate by brightening the scene. However, if you use the right settings, you won’t encounter this issue. 

A light meter can also be used to get your photos the proper exposure. 

When you are taking photos, exposure is everything. Now that you understand exposure values, you will be able to capture better images. How will you be integrating the theory into your shoots? 

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