Thursday, October 17, 2013

Learning DSLR Photography - Aperature

One of my goals for this year is to improve my photography.  In September I went to a photo hike that Lori & Erin organized.  I was one of only a few non-professional photographers there so I happily monopolized Lori's time, asking her to teach me about my canon.

We worked on Aperature (also called F-Stop just to make it confusing).  I learned that aperature is how much light the camera will let in.  The higher the aperature (1/22 for example) the less light gets in.  Lori told me a good way to think about it is as fractions.  A low fraction number is actually bigger - 1/4 cup is bigger than 1/8.  It works the same way in photography - an F-Stop of 3.5 will let in more light than an F-Stop of 5.8.

This is important when trying to pinpoint a depth of field.  A low F-Stop (so a lot of light) will give you a shallow depth of field.  In other words, part of the picture will be in focus and part will blurred.  A high F-Stop will give you a sharper image, everything will be in focus.  But since it is not letting in a lot of light (high F-Stop means less light) there needs to be a lot of natural light (outside during the day).

I set my camera to the semi-automatic (AV) mode and played around.  None of these pictures are very good but I'm just learning so please be kind...

   (low F-Stop)
 (vs. high F-Stop)
 I don't see much of a difference - I suppose Erin is slightly more in focus in the second image.

(low F-Stop)
 (high F-Stop)
 (something that just made the whole picture blurry)

I'll keep working on it.  

Some other photos from the hike that I liked:

I got the difference in these two photos by changing the automatic white balance.  I didn't even know I could do that (or what it is - next lesson perhaps?).  I'm glad Lori was there to show me!

And a few of Roxy just for good measure.  I left Kinsey at home.  I figured two dogs would be too  much since I did want to play around with the camera and knew we'd be going Roxy's pace.

(Always eating and drinking things - and she wonders why she gets sick).

And a few of the sunset over the water.  We do live in a very pretty place!

Until the next lesson!

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