In a YouTube video posted by The Slow Mo Guys, viewers are given the opportunity to take a closer look at the mechanics behind how a DSLR camera works. It’s actually quite fascinating to see exactly what is happening when you snap a picture.

Gavin Free, the artist behind the video, filmed his DSLR snapping pictures at a variety of shutter speeds. Using his own high speed Phantom video camera, we see a crystal clear slow-motion video of a camera taking a photograph.

At first, a mirror originally angled at 45 degrees flips up to expose the sensor. Normally this mirror is reflecting the light from the camera’s lens into the viewfinder that you’re looking into; that’s how you see the image you’re about to take. When the mirror flips up, your view is temporarily blocked explaining the black flash you see when you take a photo.

From there, you see a mechanical shutter slide down, temporarily exposing the sensor that records the light making up your photograph. The amount of the sensor that is exposed seems to depend on the shutter speed selected. At very high shutter speeds, only a small sliver of the sensor is exposed. This corresponds with why those types of photographs require a lot of light.

Even if you are not into photography, the video is still interesting to watch. Who knows- at the very least, it might teach you a thing or two about the camera on your smartphone which utilizes a sensor that operates in a similar manner.

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