Photo light calculator

The combination of shutter speed, aperture and film speed/ISO (and light modifiers) are expressed as EV or "Exposure Value". This number depends on the amount of light present in a scene, either natural light (sun/moon) or artificial (strobe/lamp). A difference of 1 in EV corresponds to 1 "stop" (+1 stop = 2 x more light).
A ND (neutral density) filter is a piece of glass you can mount on a lens that filters out light without a color influence.

Camera settings

Aperture: f/5.6 - average aperture, could be cheap kit lens

Shutter: 1 sec - long exposure, needs tripod

ISO: 100 ASA - lowest ISO, very little noise

Scene lighting: EV5

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
starlight to dim ambient lightmoon eclipse to night home interiorneon lights to landscape after sunsetbright light to weak sunbright daylight to direct sunlight
  • Pure Exposure Value: EV100 = 4.97 (based on shutter & aperture)
  • Luminance: 4 cd/m² = 0.37 cd/ft²
  • Luminance: 1.17 fL (foot Lambert)


EV is an estimation of how much light you need for a decent photo with these settings. If you use camera settings for EV10 and you actually have EV15 in your scene, your photo will be overexposed. If you use camera settings for EV10 but you only have EV3 light in your scene, your photo will be underexposed.