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Main / How to: Controlling Light

It is important to control the amount of light that reaches the sensor. Thinking back to the water bucket analogy, if too much light hits the sensor, the bucket will fill up and won't be able to hold any more. If this happens, information about the intensity of the light is being lost. Even though one photosite may be exposed to a higher intensity light than another, if both buckets are full, the camera will not register a difference between them.

The word camera comes from the term camera obscura. Camera means room (or chamber) and obscura means dark. In other words, a camera is a dark room. This dark room keeps out all unwanted light. At the click of a button, it allows a controlled amount of light to enter through an opening and focuses the light onto a sensor (either film or digital). In the next couple of sections, you will learn how the aperture and shutter work together to control the amount of light that enters the camera.

Tutorial source: howStuffWorks

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