Learning Activity – Exposure Basics

12. October 2016 Uncategorised 0
Learning Activity – Exposure Basics

This week it is all about learning our camera and about our camera functions. I think this is so fun, I love taking photos and I have had photography as a hobby for many years, so this will be so much fun. I will learn stuff that I haven’t learned before, and some may be repetition, but I believe in this; practice practice practice, that’s the only way to get better.


First Question this week is:

After reading the appropriate section in your prescribed textbook From Snapshots to Great Shots, please answer the following questions:

  1. Name all the functions / buttons on the front of your camera
  2. Name all the functions / buttons on the back of your camera
  3. Explain how you would set the correct ISO
  4. Explain how you would change the aperture
  5. Explain how you would change the shutter speed

I have a Nikon D7200, but I have used my Nikon D3200 to take photos of my Nikon D7200 for this task.


Camera Front buttons:

  • A: Depth of Field Preview button
  • B: Sub-command dial
  • C: AF-assist illuminator
  • D: Flash mode button
  • E: Infrared receiver
  • F: Bracketing button
  • G: Lens mounting mark
  • H: Lens Release button
  • I: Focus mode selector and AF button
  • J: Function button


Camera back buttons:

  • A: I Button
  • B: ISO button/zoom Out/ISO sensitivity
  • C: Qual button/Zoom In/Image Quality
  • D: White balance/Help/Protect button
  • E: Menu button
  • F: Playback button
  • G: Delete button
  • H: Diopter Adjustment control
  • I: AE/AF Lock button
  • J: Main Command dial
  • K: Multi -selector with OK button
  • L: Focus Lock selector
  • M: Live View selector with LV button
  • N: Speaker
  • O: Info Button
  • P: Monitor/LCD


How to set the ISO correctly on Nikon D7200

First I want to explain what ISO is and what it does; ISO helps us to set the sensitivity on our cameras. The higher the ISO, the more digital noise your image will contain, the lower the ISO, the better quality your image will be. You always want to use the lowest ISO as possible on your camera. When you buy your camera, the ISO is usually preset is set on Auto. You will get more control and flexibility if you learn how to manage your ISO options and have better quality photos, so turn of your Auto ISO, and start experimenting. When your camera is set on Auto ISO, the camera is determine how much light is available, and your camera will choose what it thinks to be the best ISO setting. Sometimes this can come in handy, but if you get control over your ISO, you will see that adjusting the ISO is a powerful tool, and you will take better pictures. Below this text you will find the right way to set your ISO on your Nikon D7200 camera, so continue reading and explore your possibilities. ISO stands for International Standards Organization, and it is standardized industry scales for measuring sensitivity to light. Sometimes you want higher ISO, for example, if you take pictures at night, when the light is poor, raise the level of ISO, and when it is sunny, bright days, have as low ISO as possible.

My camera has the possibility to shoot with very high ISO that gives very little noise, and I like that a lot. Noise in pictures is not fun at all; I like my pictures to be as clear as possible. Noise is small speckles in the image, I like to call it grain, that’s what they used to call it back in the days, but you can still say both. Digital noise is darker in the areas where it is shadows, and the reason this happens is that your camera is trying to amplify the signal to produce much more visible information. So remember, use as low ISO as possible. I will write much more about this topic later on, because it really interests me, and I would love to share this information with you, but first my LA’s. 🙂


Setting the ISO correctly on your Nikon D7200

  1. Press and hold the ISO button on the back of your camera while rotating the main Command dial to select ISO Sensitivity baised on your available light.
  2. Release the button when you have made your choice.


How to change the aperture

Aperture is the mode on your camera that is most used by professional photographers. I use A – Aperture Priority Mode all the time on my Nikon D7200, I love this feature. It is excellent for shooting animals, shooting landscapes, shooting in cities, and when shooting when it is bright outside, like skies and silhouetting an image. Aperture is a mode you use to gain control of the depth of field. Depth of field means that you get control over how much of your photo is sharp, how much of the background you want to be visible. If you take pictures of flowers for example, maybe you only want to highlight the flower, and you want a blurry background, or if you are taking portrait photos. Then you should use a large aperture (low f-stop number). This will isolate your subject from the background. When you shoot with a small aperture (high f-stop number) then your image, for example a landscape picture, it will be much clearer and sharply focused in the entire picture, this will render the best amount of depth of field as possible. Have fun shooting and playing around with Aperture on your camera, I promise you it will take your photos to a new level.


  1. You need to have your camera turned on and then turn the Mode dialog to align the A with the white indicator line.
  2. Point your camera towards an object, and after that activate your camera meter by depressing the shutter button halfway.
  3. View the exposure information in the bottom area of the viewfinder or if you look at the top on your display panel.
  4. While your camera meter is activated, use your fingers to roll the Sub-command dial left and right to see the changes exposure values. If you roll the dial to the right for a smaller aperture (higher f-stop number) and to the left for a larger aperture (lower f-stop number).


A photo I took with blurry background , shot this in A mode. Here I used a low f-stop number, a large aperture. F/4.5

This is another one I shoot using low aperture. f/3.5 and low ISO 100. So this is another way of using low aperture.


How to change the Shutter speed in different modes.

On my Nikon D7200 the S mode is what is most commonly used and reffered to as Shutter Priority Mode. You can also use M mode on your Nion D7200, this will give you total control over the shutter speed and aperture. On Manual mode your camera doesn’t do any of the work, it is you that have total control, and this M mode is designed for those who don’t want to go on autopilot.

Changing shutter speed in M mode:

Turn your camera on, and turn the Mode dial to align with the M with the white indicator line. Use your thumb to roll the main Command dial left and right to change your shutter speed value until the mark is lined up with the zero mark. You do this while the meter is activated. You read the information in your viewfinder using a scale with marks that run from -2 to +2 stops with the 0 indicating proper exposure. When you see the exposure move to the left, the picture is being underexposed, or it is getting darker. You can move the indicator to the right and your image is being overexposed or your image is then getting brighter.

Changing shutter speed in S mode:

S mode is Shutter Priority Mode, and is referred to by photographers as the Shutter Priority mode. When you are in the S mode, your camera prioritizes or places major emphasis on the shutter speed above all of the other features on your camera. Using S mode gives you much freedom to control different aspects of your photography. Shuttespeed determines how long you expose your camera’s sensor to the light. When it stays longer open, the more time your sensor on your camera has to collect light. The shutterspeed also determines how sharp your photographs will be. If you move your camera while your shutter is open, you will then notice that your picture get blurred and out of focus. If you want to freeze a moment while taking sports pictures for example, you want to freeze the action, and then you want a faster shutter speed. If you want to show motion, you want to use a slower shutterspeed. If you want to photograph the light tale of mowing cars at night, you then want to use a slow shutter speed, but to avoid your image getting blurry; you should always use a tripod. This is to stabilize your camera to avoid shaking, and then you will get much sharper images.

To try out the S mode turn your camera on, and the n turn the Mode dial to align the S with the white indicator line. Select your ISO, and point your camera at any subject, and then activate the camera meter by depressing the shutter button halfway. View the exposure information in the bottom area of your viewfinder or by looking in your top display panel. While the meter is activated, use your thumb to roll the main Command dial left and right to see the changed exposure values. Roll the dial to the right for faster shutter speeds and to the left for slower speeds.


You will find all of your resources to learn your Nikon D7200 by reading the book; From Snapshots to Great Shots by Jerod Foster, or you can read your book that followed with your camera. There is plenty of information out there for you to learn how you best can use your Nikon D7200.