You know the subject. You've seen the inspirational photos. But how do you execute your own? Let's take a look at the inspirational photos again a little more in-depth, photography speaking.
Now just to be clear: I am only hypothesizing how these photographs were created based on the details in the image.
Now, take a look at the photograph. There's a giant window on the left, correct? It's obviously very bright, which means that our aperture has to be large enough in number (small enough opening) to allow for such dark blacks on the wall.
We've determined our ISO was set low, which means not a lot of light has come in due to that, as the higher the ISO, the more light is let in, hence you shoot with a low ISO when you are outdoors on a sunny day.
We've determined that the shutter speed was set low. This counteracts the ISO, as the low shutter speed allowed for a lot of light to enter the camera. The slower your shutter speed, the longer your camera is left open, because the shutter opens and closes at a slower speed.
So what about the aperture? Based on the range of focus, which goes to about the halfway point in depth, I would say the aperture was about f/11. If you look closely at the black portions of the wall, the edges start to get a bit blurry about halfway down. Some of you may want to say the aperture was greater, but keep the amount of light in mind. The aperture has to be high enough to allow some details in the window on the far end, and to allow the blacks to be so dark, but low enough that the majority of the window is still brilliant.
Makes sense? Great. If it doesn't, feel free to comment and I can go into more detail for you. Let's look at the next one.
Since we know that the ISO is set high, letting in a lot of light, and the shutter speed is set low, also letting in a lot of light, then that must mean that the aperture is set high to let in a low amount of light. Remember, aperture is the tricky one because it plays on opposites.
The aperture for this image, based on the clarity of the thicker lines, and the fact that the buildings outside the tunnel are still visible and not completely blurred, is most likely f/22 or higher, which would also make sense, considering how much we have to counteract all of the light we've let into the camera with our shutter speed and ISO.
Based on the image, the shutter speed would have to be slower than 1/2 of a second. Note: the fractions you see when we are talking about shutter speed are the fraction of a second. So if you shoot at 1/32, your shutter speed is clicking at 1/32 of a second.
I believe you're getting the point. It's very important to know the relationships between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to get the perfect shot. When looking at inspirational images, don't just admire them for their aesthetic qualities, but also for the technical work that went into creating the photograph.
As you get better with your camera and start playing around with settings, you'll be able to dissect images yourself.
Photographer, visual artist, and customer service extraordinaire.