Photography is an important aspect of Graphic design as it allows the designer to have full creative rights on the project. The camera is the essential tool in photography and I want to have a closer look at what exactly the camera does. In this blog specifically, I will be looking at the three main components to taking a photograph; shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed it the speed in which the two ‘curtains’ in the shutter move. With faster shutter speeds, less light is let in and less movement is capture. Longer shutter speeds let more light in but also capture movement (like with running water). For longer shutter speeds you need to get a tripod or some other way to hold the camera steady as slight movement can blur the image unintentionally.

The image below demonstrates how the speed of the shutter captures movement in the photograph.


Aperture is a whole in the lens which lets light through. The size of the aperture also effects the amount of light that is let in and the focal length. The focal length is what can create a blurry background and foreground for a boke effect in a photograph. It is particularly useful in portraits so that the focus is on the subject and not the background.


ISO is the camera’s ability to capture light. Camera’s with a lower ISO are less sensitive and have less grain in their photos, especially when taken in low light. Expensive cameras tend to have the ability to use a lower ISO, and therefore less grainy images, but for everyday use its not considered an absolute must have. 

Balancing the Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO is integral to getting a good quality photo. They work together to control the light of an image and each have their own impact on image quality. Professional photographers use these as the basis of all photographs taken and then generally touch up the photographs in programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

Images sources from:

Creativelive. (2019). The Ultimate Guide to Learning Photography: Shutter Speed. Retrieved 20 February 2019 from:

City Academy (2019) What is Aperture? Retrieved 20 February 2019 from:

Mathies, D. (2018). What is ISO? Retrieved 20 February 2019 from: