Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trying to Get Focused

Aperture aka F-stop is the third and final player in the game of Exposure.  Aperture is the mechanism that opens and closes when you take a picture.

Where can I find the aperture???

 It is usually located next to the shutter speed on your LCD screen.  The numbers range from F1.8  to F 2.

They may look something like this: 1.8, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22

I know there are a lot of numbers but don't worry!  I will keep it simple and only use the extremes.  I'm sure you can figure out everything else in between.

1.8 is a small number but it is a very wide aperture.  Therefore,  it lets in more light

22, a large number,  is a narrow opening .  Therefore, it lets in less light.

Feeling confused??  Don't be!  I will make this simple.

 The smaller the number = bigger/wider aperture = more light

The bigger the number = smaller/narrow aperture = less light

The widest aperture available depends on the type of lens you use.  The lowest Aperture/F-stop available is usually denoted on the front inner rim of your lens.

Example: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S  18-55mm   1:3.5 - 5.6 IS

Basically this means that if my lens is wide open at 18mm, the lowest available aperture is 3.5 When my lens is at 55mm then the lowest aperture available is 5.6.

Does this make sense?  I sure hope so.


There's more!

Aperture also controls depth of field (DOF).  This basically controls how much of your picture is in focus.

The smaller the number (2.8 or so) the less you have in focus

The bigger the number (22 or so) the more you have in focus


Subject:  You are taking a picture of a cow that is about 10 feet away from you.

Foreground: There is bright green grass between you and the cow.

Background: There are beautiful mountains about 10ft behind the cow.

Now you have to decide what you want included in the picture.

If you want everything (foreground, subject and background) in focus : Use a smaller/narrow aperture/F-stop number of 22 or so.  This is know as a large depth of field

If you want only your subject in focus and the background blurry: Use a bigger/wider aperture/F-stop of 2.8.  This is known as a shallow depth of field.

Take a deep breath and read below....

If you want to see heaven and hell in the same photo: use a larger number (22)

If you only want to see heaven : use a smaller number (2.8)

Here is a link that aperture.  I found it very helpful.  She breaks it down into four sections.  Make sure you read them all!
You should also check out the rest of her website.  She has lots of delicious recipes!

The Pioneer Woman

Lets end this lesson with a photo.  I managed to take this one while I was doing a 10-step project for class.   I had to take a photo every 10 steps I took.  I did this a total of 30 times.  My fingers were numb by the time I was done.

Feb 15, 2011
Park Bench

Come back sometime this week and I will put it all together!


noreen said...

I'll try to remember what I have previously typed. I accidentally hit my back button without even typing the word verification.

anyways, the photo above is a great example of using a wider aperture. I almost forgot that this is a 365 and you're only showing one photo from your walk. Although I am also interested to see your samples of photos with a hsallow depth of field.

Megan said...

Hi Aasiya!

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I am going to be getting a fancy schmancy...as I call it...camera pretty soon. I'm really excited about it although I've got LOTS to learn!

Hang in there with the blogging. I started a year ago and I've had my ups and downs with it but I really enjoy it as well!