Getting the correct exposure is crucial to getting good images. So the question must be how to get the best exposure. Well some help is at hand. You camera has a built in meter, it also has a Histogram which is a representation of the tones in your image and can be the source of great feedback. Then lastly and perhaps less reliable is the LCD on the back of your camera. (use with caution)
So where to start. Well you have to know from the get go, that everything in photography is a compromise. The start ing point is what do you want to achieve and what is your priority.
Assuming we are in good light for this example, ie day light. the first question to answer is what is priority, is it everything in focus, is it freeze the action. is it picture quality?
Lets say its freeze the action, I want the subject tack sharp, so what shutter speed do I need to achieve that. Lets say 1/1000. so dial that in. ok so whats the next priority, is it quality or depth of field? Lets say its quality so set the ISO as low as possible. The remaining variable would be to set the aperture.
Setting the aperture is a matter of adjusting the aperture control until the light meter in the camera is at the centre as below.
Now take a test shot as decide if you think the image is just right, dark or light.
If necessary adjust the aperture to either let in more or less light.
Thats your camera locked in and as long as the light doesn’t change, you can then concentrate on taking good photos.