Tuesday, March 02, 2010

12 Weeks to Better Photography: Week ONE

Hey there! Long time no "see".

As is pretty obvious, I've not been very good at writing on my blog lately... well for that matter, I've not been very good at writing anywhere lately and I can tell you that my dissertation is definitely starting to suffer! But that's a discussion for another day. Today I starting a 12 week photography virtual lesson with Meredith at La Buena Vida and the blog Two Peas in a Bucket.


This week, we've been trying our hand at adjusting the aperture. My husband Lucas (and The Pioneer Woman) has long been trying to explain aperture to me and its only been in the last couple months that I've started being able to grasp it. Here's my take - which I think is slightly less confusing than other explanations on the web.

Basically, aperture is indicated by an f-stop number on a camera. f-stop refers to how much of the lens is closed off, how much light is allowed into the camera and thus, how much of your picture is in focus. My rule of thumb is:

less f-stop = less of the lens closed off = less of the picture in focus
more f-stop = more of the lens closed off = more of the picture in focus

So the Week ONE Lesson from Two Peas in a Bucket got us playing around with f-stops to see what happens to the photo... I took identical photos with a small f-stop (5.3) and medium f-stop (10) and a big f-stop (22). Take a look...

f-stop = 5.3
Since this f-stop is sort of on the small side (less covering the lens, less in focus) you can see that some of the background - like the crack (hehe... crack) in the concrete steps - isn't quite in focus. *Understand though that this f-stop is still not that small. In fact, there are lenses that allow the f-stop to go down to less than 2 which would cause even the evergreens in the photo to be slightly blurry.

f-stop = 10
This f-stop is kind of in the middle so even more of the lens is covered meaning that even more of the photo is in focus - like the more noticeable crack.

f-stop = 22
This f-stop is the biggest I used... So now even more of the lens is covered and even more of the picture is in focus. Look at that gigantic concrete plumber crack!! Oh and that white blob is snow - who would have guessed that in the first photo?

Ok - so there it is - I think I've got aperture under control. Its not as hard as I thought it was, but it does take thought. So before pulling out the camera to take a quite picture, I've got think about what part of the scene I want to see and adjust appropriately.

Next week: ISO and ShutterSpeed :)


Lindsay said...

My hubby has been trying to explain all this to me also... I'm finally grasping it!

Meredith said...

I agree...once you get the hang of it, it isn't that hard...but it took me LOTS of playing around to figure it out, lol! Like I said, the whole more light = less in focus just never made sense to me!

Megan said...

I agree with the other two also! It was tricky for me to grasp but I think I am getting the hang of it and it was fun to see different pictures I took this past week after understanding it a little more. Great job! :)

Littlec said...

I'm excited for you for this photography course. Sounds like a fantastic idea! I need to learn more about my camera.

Stephanie said...

I've definitely had to do some playing around with it, but yours look awesome!

Littlec said...

Thanks for the lesson Amanda. I tried it out today and it worked! Also, I love the Pioneer Woman.

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