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4 – Confusing Terms

Underexposure & Overexposure

Underexposure Overexposure

An underexposed photograph is too dark—too little light reached the sensor.

An overexposed photograph is too light—too much light reached the sensor.

The definitions of fast and slow change depending on their context.

Fast & Slow

Lens Context

Fast Slow

A fast lens has a large maximum aperture, such as a f/1.4.

A slower lens has a smaller maximum aperture, such as f/4.

Shutter Speed Context

Fast Slow

A fast shutter speed, such 1/1000th of a second, lets less light reach the sensor.

A slow shutter speed, such as 1/8th of a second, lets more light reach the sensor.


Wide Aperture

A wide aperture is a large aperture, such as f/4.

The aperture is physically  large.

Wide Lens

A lens that "sees" a wide angle of view.

Opening Up & Closing Down

The Aperture

Opening Up

When you open up the aperture, say from f/16 to f/11, you're letting more light into the camera.

The aperture is getting physically larger.

Closing Down

If you close down the aperture, such as from f/4 to f/5.6, less light is reaching the sensor.

The aperture is getting physically smaller .