Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's all about f/stop!

So...just because taking Digi in Deep over at JessicaSprague.com wasn't enough, I decided to hop on board with an informal photography class too. I mean...what the heck! It's not like I need to sleep, right???

Our first lesson was all about shooting in Aperture Priority mode. This is where you change the f/stop and let the camera take care of the rest.

Well! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself, but there you have it:
And I FINALLY figured out a way to remember! Big f/stop (higher number) = big focus (more in focus) - WOOT!

As you can see above, the lower the f/stop (in this case 4.5) the less is in focus (only the coffee cup right in front of the lens) and the higher the f/stop (in this case 29) the more is in focus (the display with the flyers, the tree off to the right).

Now, I wouldn't recommend trying this with a child...especially in the higher f/stop, because the higher the f/stop the slower the shutter speed. And I wouldn't recommend trying it unless you have a VERY steady hand, something hard on which to rest the camera (I put it right on the table) or a tripod. Again, the higher the f/stop, the longer the shutter needs to stay open to let in the appropriate amount of light.

Go out an try it! It works just the same with a regular SLR as it does with a DSLR and I understand some of the higher end digital point and shoots will let you take pictures in Aperture Priority mode. If you do decide to try it out, come on back here and let me know! I'd love to see your results!

Thanks for stopping by today and happy shooting!

3 comments:

Kristin Hohenadel said...

The higer the F-stop, the longer the exposure takes because it needs to compensate for the small amount of light being let in the lens width wise (http://web.uvic.ca/ail/techniques/aperture.gif). It controls this using shutter speed because you have made the other 2 pieces of the TRIANGLE constant (aperture and ISO). Your camera knows how much light it needs to expose the picture and you (or auto mode) decide how to adjust the triangle in order to meet your creative needs.

Just make sure you remember the triangle or your new knowledge may confuse you once you move on.

BTW, what camera and lenses do you have? I forget.


I always remember aperture as follows: people who want to take portraits want prime lenses. The reason they want prime lenses (ex. 50mm f1.8) is because they like their backgrounds blurred out (controlled by aperture). Thats essentially the other end of your more-f stop-more detail theory.

Christyne (aka Apple Blossom) said...

Hey you! Thanks for the mini lesson!

I have a Canon 20D with the kit lens (18 - 55 mm) and a zoom (75 - 300 mm). I SO want a 50mm, but it's not in the budget just yet...

Kristin Hohenadel said...

let me know when it is. It'll be about $100 on B+H and I can get it shipped to my cousin's house and then pick it up.