What are the 3 key elements of photography?

Understand the three basic elements of photography (aperture, shutter, ISO), exposure. Exposure is the basic element of any photograph taken and recorded. The aperture is the setting that controls the size of the aperture of the light that reaches the lens. I would say that this is perhaps the most important aspect of any photograph.

The moment you choose dictates light and composition. Especially with photographs of humans, the moment is really important. A perfectly composed and perfectly illuminated photograph of the bride on her wedding day will fall short if she doesn't like the moment when you decided to photograph her laugh. The moment is so important to us that we will wait hours for the light to shine from the water in the right way, or for the perfect character to enter the scene.

We will throw away the images in which the wind blew the hair in the wrong way, discarding them the wrong way. Focusing on this element of the image is a sure way to take better pictures. The same goes for interesting subjects or unusual elements in a photo, just as they would in the real world. As you can see, shutter speed, aperture and ISO are the three most important elements when it comes to image exposure, and none of the three is a one-size-fits-all solution, since each has its advantages and its drawbacks.

Although you can get good photos by relying on your camera's automatic modes, you'll become a better photographer if you take the time to learn about all the elements of exposure. If there are elements that distract you or elements with different moods and emotions, find out what you can do to improve them. It could easily be argued that exposure, along with focus, is the most important element of any good photograph. Even if your goal is to capture a chaotic and distracting photo, you should do so as clearly and unambiguously as possible, without any “non-chaotic element” that tells a different story.

It covers the position of the camera, the relationships between the elements of a photo and the subjects that you emphasize, de-emphasize, or completely exclude. Sometimes, you'll need your aperture to remain fixed, which means you'll have to balance the other two elements to properly expose an image. However, when it comes to pressing the shutter, these three things are still key to successful photography. This is because a good subject can captivate viewers and allows other parts of an image, including crucial elements, including light, to fade into the background.

Good photos work because the elements of your composition work together instead of fighting each other.

Sponsored by ADM Photo & Video - click here for directions

ADM Photo & Video
1400 Colonial Blvd, Suite 41
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Tel: (239) 362-3842
Plus Code: H4W7+59 Fort Myers, Florida

Opening Hours (by appointment only):

  • Sunday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Monday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Tuesday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Wednesday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Thursday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Friday: 09:00am to 08:00pm
  • Satday: 09:00am to 08:00pm


John Pfannenstiel
John Pfannenstiel

Born in South Africa, John fell in love on his 14th birthday when his parents presented him with his first camera. After photographing insects, lizards, and snakes in his own backyard, John felt he had found his calling in life, and a career in photography beckoned. John set up his first photography business when he was 23 and has since traveled the world and worked with many famous photographers.