Video: The Three Basics of Photography Exposure

Video: The Three Basics of Photography

After writing the “Three Basics of Photography” article, I decided that the Bucket Analogy was fine but still a little confusing, and I wanted something that would appeal to my visually oriented visitors. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that it would be simplest to forgo analogies altogether and just use a simplified camera, representing light as discrete, little cubic units. That reminded me of an old-school video game… so this video has a bit of a theme.

I hope that you take a moment to “Like” this video on YouTube. You can visit it directly by following this link: The Three Basics of Exposure & Photography

Please comment! As usual, if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them in the comment section below.

      1. Hi,
        I was wondering the best way to clean my 300mm lens, well the slide when focusing. It is not sliding smoothly when I focus. I was at the beach and it was windy. it almost seems gritty. I tried looking online, but I get nothing.
        Thank you,

        1. Hi Louise,

          Unfortunately, cleaning sand out of a lens is hard… even for professional technicians. Unless you’re very good with your hands and handling delicate electronic components, I’d recommend taking it to a camera repair shop for cleaning.

          That said, there are a few things you can try.

          If you have a strong vacuum cleaner or shop vac with a hose attachment, try using that on the lens, with your hand forming a seal between the end of the hose and the lens. It won’t do a lot, but it may help get the easy stuff.

          Check youtube for tutorials about how to disassemble your lens. Some lenses are harder than others, and can be taken apart and cleaned. Usually someone has posted something on YouTube, and you can get an idea of whether the process is within your skill-set.

          Beyond that, there isn’t much to be done that I can think of. Good luck!

          – Matthew

          1. Thank you! The sand in the slide was worth it, I got some really cool pictures at the Airshow at Crissy Field. :) I also got all the sand cleaned out.
            Thank you again,

  1. This video is just great. Just what I was looking for. Nicely done. I will be sure to credit you in teaching and posting it on my website. Many thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for this video… I appreciate having the visuals to help me understand apperture and f-stops… I had the concept for ISO from film days, but still was confused about the others.. This helped make it very clear.


    Easy to understand advice that is a great help to advance your understanding of the art of photography.I enjoyed reading these helpful tips and information.

  4. The illustration of DOF is incomplete – might mislead those beginners rather than educate. Could have used the 8bit diagram to show how objects beyond a fixed distance in front and behind the point of focus will be out of focus (causing the blurred effect) and how the aperture settings affect that distance.

    1. Hi Leonard,

      Thanks for the suggestion. There are lots of things that I’d like to have done differently or better in this video, but in the end, I just decided to call it finished and post it :) I may still go back and make some revisions, though, eventually.

      – Matthew

  5. LOL @ “All Your Base…”

    Was that clip-art Matthew that made an appearance in the video?  :P

    Those sounds sure brought back some memories!

    Nice little bonus screen there at the end with your equipment and rankings.

    Good information as always.

    1. It’s kinda funny… in all of the comments that I’ve received on this video on YouTube, Vimeo, the various forums and other embeddings, you’re the only one who commented on the “All Your Base” :) The drawing was loosely modeled after me; it was originally just a stick figure, but i drew some glasses on it… and then redrew it so that it would look something like me. I’m not sure that anyone who knows me actually would recognize it as me. The layout of the Specs screen was gratuitously stolen from Final Fantasy, which has one of my all-time favorite bits of 8-bit music:

      – Matt

      1. That is amusing.  All Your Base stuck out like a sore thumb to me.  I can see where viewers on other sites didn’t recognize you, but I bet your friends and family would.  You should test them. :)

        1. In the first edit of the video, the AYB phrase was only up there for a sec, and i figured nobody would notice it, so i purposefully extended it a few frames longer than the other terms, just so that it would stick out.  Glad you noticed it, anyway :)


      2. The video on that link freak my cat out. He was sleeping next to my computer when I started it. I should have taken a picture of his face! :-)


        1. Alfred, you’ve met me in the real world… well, not the real world; it was disney world, but close enough. What do you think? Does the cartoon version resemble me at all?

          1. It was……..close? A little on the chubby side, but, then again, I may just be reflecting. :-)

            I guess you need another trip to Dizzy Whirl for me to put your drawing side-by-side.

            Oh, and BTW, Dizzy Whirl *is* real. You just have to “drink the Kool-Aid”. :-)


            1. hmm, it’s not really supposed to be chubby; side effect of an over-sized head, I think. I wasn’t going for a true likeness, of course, just something that might look give the impression of me.

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