Approaching the Scene: Introduction & Exposure Triangle

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I’m so excited to launch this new course for the Plus community. Each lesson of Approaching the Scene is devoted to the full creative process of photography from conceptualizing a shoot through creating a RAW capture in the field and finish editing the results in ON1 Photo RAW. These lessons are detailed, involved, and longer than course lessons you might be used to. Friday, Feb 10th we will release one lesson per week, starting with Sports Action which has nearly an hour of content based around a kiteboarding photo shoot.

Approaching the Scene includes the Exposure Triangle video above and assumes a basic understanding of using exposure creatively. If you want to get more firmly grounded in the basics of exposure, composition and creative camera settings, then I hope you’ll revisit my Landscape and Travel course and especially its lessons on light, composition, shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

I know, enough with the preliminaries. What’s coming next? Future Approaching the Scene lessons include: Low-light, Panoramic Mergers, Portrait, Landscape, Scouting, Black & White, Time-Lapse, Gear and Long Exposure. Each lesson is filmed in and around the scenic Columbia River Gorge with editing work in my studio. The lessons will be posted in the Courses section of Plus where you can track your progress across multiple devices and download them for offline viewing. I hope you all enjoy this series and I invite you to ask any questions you have or leave feedback and comments in our Plus Discussion Forums.

Watch the Official Trailer

24 comments on “Approaching the Scene: Introduction & Exposure Triangle”

  1. On February 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm Adam Rubinstein wrote:

    Hi Hudson, it sounds like a great course and I wish RAW was available when I was an active sports photographer (this was pre-LR days). While, I used to cover events and competitions rather than a singular shoot, many of the planning and staging issues still apply. Looking forward to your insights and possibly drone footage with a kiteboarding shoot (I wish I had those too back in the “day”)?

    1. On February 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      Thanks Adam. The technology keeps rolling ahead.

      You won’t see drones and kites in this series, but keep watching… I’m gearing up to use drones with kites this summer. I’ve been flying a lot this winter and getting the skills built up.


  2. On February 19, 2017 at 5:22 am MaryEllyn Vicksta wrote:

    I just finished watching the Landscape approaching the scene and really enjoyed seeing how you scouted a scene, what you were looking for on a non-blue sky day, and how you framed your scene. This is exactly the kind of thing that I was interested in exploring during 2017 with my Plus membership.

    The added bonus was seeing how you worked your image through On1Raw. I am making the transition from LR to On1Raw and I appreciated the decisions and tips that you provided, especially what to render in RAW and what to do in Effects. I am really liking using layers and effects within On1 and I am finding myself only occasionally processing an image in PS.

    Looking forward to your future episodes.

  3. On February 22, 2017 at 4:32 am wrote:

    Hi and thank you for your effort.
    You might want to mention, that the f-stops numbers are actually fractions. When you say that “the larger the number, the narrower aperture” it is actually other way around. I understand that most people don’t think about that first part of the equitation (1: like 1:2.8 or 1:8 etc.) but it might confuse few, who does. It is also easier to remember relation between f/number and aperture opening IMHO, because if you remember that 1:, than it is – the smaller the number, the smaller the aperture opening will be.
    Kind regards,

    1. On February 22, 2017 at 11:27 am Hudson Henry replied:

      You are correct, it’s a ratio involving the lens’s focal length in relation to the exit pupil. I thought hard about how to keep this as simple as possible for those newer to the concept and chose to leave that out. ;-)

  4. On February 22, 2017 at 7:37 am Bohdan wrote:

    Hi Hudson, absolutely great videos. I just wish I had found this place earlier. I love taking pictures as a way to express myself. Some times good and sometimes not so good. But it’s a very relaxing hobby for me. After watching your video on the Exposure Triangle, I think I understand the concepts. However it still is a little confusing to me. This may be a dumb question cause maybe I’m not seeing it right. Anyway here it goes. The three point of the triangle are fine, but lets say if I increase my f-stop does that mean I need to decrease the ISO or increase the ISO? Also does my time need to change proportionately in relationship to the ISO? Maybe I’m making to much of a big deal about and it’s probably more simpler than what I am making it out to be. Maybe I should experiment with it to see the effects.

    1. On February 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      Hey Bohdan,

      No, it’s not a dumb question at all. It means your thinking critically about how these variables interact. I’m going to suggest you back up and look at last year’s course that I did called Landscape and Travel Photography. It’s here in your Courses library:

      There is another exposure triangle video there (just to hear the same thing a different way), but even more importantly there are episodes for each of the points on the triangle. Time, Aperture and ISO (low light). I’d suggest watching each of those, and then hit me with follow-up questions in the Ask a Coach discussion forum here:

      1. On February 22, 2017 at 8:11 pm Bohdan replied:

        Thank you Hudson…I’ll do that, and thank you for the reply. Other photo sites that I have signed up with never seem to take the time to response. This is a very real nice switch.

  5. On March 1, 2017 at 7:35 am Dan Milligan wrote:

    Hudson… absolutely love your videos. I’m on a very slow “hispeed” connection where I live and often take a road trip to visit one of my kids (1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours away) so that I can watch it live. I’d love to be able to download the video when I’m at their place where they have speeds of upwards of 30 x’s faster. Many of the other offerings at ON1 allow me to do that so that I can review parts of them over and over (until I get it right!). My rather pathetic hispeed also comes with a low bandwidth cap and running over is very expensive. Any suggestions?

    1. On March 1, 2017 at 5:52 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      Hey Dan,

      Thanks so much for that feedback. I’ll talk to the guys about getting these added to the downloadable products. Right now all my Landscape and Travel videos are there, but not the Approaching the Scene videos yet. I assume they are waiting for them to all be released this spring before putting them into the uploadable product site, but I’ll ask.

      To download the Landscape and Travel series for now you just hover over your name at the top right, choose “Products” filter them to videos and click each relevant lesson from the series. There will be a download button on each video’s page.

      Hope that helps.


  6. On March 6, 2017 at 7:58 am Ian Barrett wrote:

    Hi Hudson,

    First thanks to you for such a brilliant series and thanks to the team who make it possible for use to receive such high quality training. I have watched all your ON1 training videos and this is the best, so far. Keep the curve moving upward, please. These are reason enough to keep my Plus membership running.

    Just wanted to ask how quickly the rest of the series will be coming. Hopefully, all are in the can and you are just waiting for the right moment to release them…

    1. On March 6, 2017 at 10:43 am Hudson Henry replied:

      Thanks Ian. That feedback means so much.

      They are mostly done, but some are still in post-production. The schedule is for them to come one at a time and all be up by the end of April, so you’ll have to bear with us a bit longer. ;-)

  7. On March 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm Glenn Saunders wrote:

    Hi Hudson, Just watched your session on Gear and it was very informative, thank you. I would like to know more about what you use for post processing hardware. I see that you have a Mac Pro, but could you share a few of the specs that you suggest. I am thinking about upgrading and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. How much RAM, what size of solid state drive, What monitors are you using, graphic cards, and anything else that makes your life easier.

    thanks in advance


    1. On March 26, 2017 at 4:33 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      Hey Glenn, I’ve been out of data range so much this month that this slipped by me. I’ll answer really briefly here, but if you want more in depth why don’t you move the follow-up question into the Discussion forums where more folks will likely take part.

      I have the latest version of the Mac Pro in it’s cheapest configuration with the Quad i7 3.5Ghz, dual 2GB VRAM video cards and 256GB SS drive for apps. I upped it to 32GB RAM through OWC cheaper than Apple. That’s the only mod. For peripherals I have…
      16TB Drobo 5D for data
      3x’s 4TB USB3 Ext Drives for backup (Time Machine & Chronosync)
      Another external USB3 drive for a scratch drive
      NEC PA302W-SV and 2690WUXi monitors

      The system works great, is stable, fast and powerful. I’m sad to not see an update on the horizon though. This is late 2013 tech. Ahead of it’s time for sure, but over 3 years old now. Microsoft is innovating with the Surface Studio. I wouldn’t trade, but I’d like to see Apple answer with something to show they care about us creative professionals as much…

  8. On April 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm Jay Robertson wrote:

    I have a question regarding the Nodal Point. I have a slider that I use for Macro work and I can use the slider so that I can move the camera on the slider from left to right (it is about 7 inches in length). It can also be used for moving the camera in and out.
    Would this be suitable for solving the problem of parallax? Tripod accessories are so expensive here in Australia. The equipment that you are using for the Nodal Point wold end up costing a fortune. I would recommend your series “Approaching the Scene” to anyone who wants an easy to follow and understand Tutorial

  9. On April 24, 2017 at 6:26 am Anthony Festa wrote:

    Hi Hudson,
    Love your videos! I’m heading to the Moab area this week. Any suggestions on what I shouldn’t miss? I’m also interested in shooting the Milky Way while I’m there. Can you recommend any specific locations that you found that would be worth shooting?
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. On April 24, 2017 at 6:48 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      You’ll have a blast. Make the journey up with everyone to Delicate Arch for sunset. It really is worth it. It’s an epic spot for the Milky Way, but be sure to have a good light and be careful on the way down. Balanced Rock is nice at night. Dawn on the Organ and Three Gossips is great.

      Outside the Park go to Fisher Towers. Also Spoke has great burgers and beer. ;-)

  10. On April 25, 2017 at 10:00 am Anthony Festa wrote:

    Thanks Hudson! I’m going to hit Zion, Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley all before Arches!!

    1. On April 25, 2017 at 11:12 am Hudson Henry replied:

      So exciting. I have a suggestion. Hit Anetlope at high noon and pay for a personal photo guide instead of joining a group that gets rushed through. The photo guide is paid a bit more to be patient. The light filters down into the narrows and sets the walls glowing with the occasional shaft of light only when the sun is very high. Then go to Horseshoe Bend nearby for sunset.

      Be sure to ask the community as a whole for location tips. There’s a fount of knowledge in the discussion forums. Here’s the location topic…

  11. On April 25, 2017 at 5:02 pm Bill Huber wrote:

    I do like the Exposure Triangle, that can help people a lot. I have tried to explain the relationship to people for years. A few years ago I came up with the The Basics of Photography and it has been used by many people in their class rooms. It is not real fancy but it get the idea across.

  12. On November 19, 2017 at 11:41 am Ramesh Patel wrote:

    Hudson, you are doing fabulous job in creating teaching videos and presets for lazy people like me! I always enjoyed your teaching materials and trying your presets first! your presets are my get go presets!
    Thank you and keep up with good work

    1. On November 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm Hudson Henry replied:

      Thanks Ramesh! That means a lot. I’ve got a whole new set of presets coming this week. :)

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