Today we have the perfect video to satisfy a very particular demographic. If you love the whole 8-Bit aesthetic, and yet remain confused by the interactions of the three basics of photographic exposure — aperture, shutter speed and ISO — then sit back, relax and hit the play button on the Vimeo video above.
Let’s leave aside for the moment that if you were a real fan of 8-Bit games the first time around, then you probably already know very well how a manual camera works, and move on to the video (which can also be read in an even more retro medium — text – over at Light And Matter).
The trick is to remember that all three elements of exposure are interchangeable, and are measured in “stops.” Opening up the aperture by one stop (one click, say from ƒ5.6 to ƒ4) is the same as clicking the shutter speed from, say, 1/500 sec to 1/250 sec, or from one whole second to two whole seconds. All of these double the light falling on the sensor.
This also means that you can open up the lens by, say, three stops, and speed up the shutter by three stops and you’ll get the exact same amount of light on the sensor. This lets you use slow shutter speeds to blur motion, or close down the aperture to get front-to-back focus in the photo,
This was a lot easier to learn on a manual film camera, as each control had its own knob or clicky dial. Then again, I’m a big fan of auto cameras, if you take the time to know what they’re up to. And in this case, “taking the time” means watching this informative ten-minute video.