Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Shutter speed to me is pretty simple, how long the shutter is open. Aperture, is in my opinion, a little more complicated. I'm not very good at explaining things but here is a good tutorial on aperture. Basically, the smaller the number or f-stop the more light enters your camera. So if you are in a low light situation you want a small aperture. However, aperture also controls the depth of field or how much of your picture is in focus. The smaller the f-stop the less amount of space is in focus. Here are 3 Examples...

This one was taken at f8 so as you can see most of the keys are pretty clear

This one was taken at f1.8 so it has a very shallow depth of field where very few keys are in focus.

This one was taken at f3.5 so some of the keys are in focus but a lot of them are not.

Your distance from the subject also comes into play with dof. Here is a dof calculator. You can plug in your information i.e. lens, camera, distance and ap and it will tell you how much of your subject(s) will be in focus. The closer you are to the subject the shallower your dof will be.

Like I said I'm not very good at explaining but if you want to read more about it Pioneer Woman did a 4 part series on Aperture and she has some gorgeous pictures as examples.

Here are some reasons for different apertures:
Large (f16 or higher) for landscape photos or when you want everything in focus
Small - (f2.8 and below) for artistic photos or when you have only one or two people in the photo and want the background blurred.
Med. (f3.5 - f8) When you have larger groups of people and want everyone in focus.

So the assignment with this one is "perspective." Use different apertures in to show perspective and tell why you chose that particular aperture. You can shoot in Av (aperture) mode or manual, whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shutter Speed part 2

Since it has been snowing/raining here for the last week I wasn't able to get out and shoot like I wanted but I did this same thing last year, you can see my examples here. If you look at my settings for the jumping shots I wanted a higher shutter speed to freeze the motion, which you will almost always want when shooting your kids. SS (shutter speed) 200 is usually a good starting point, you can go down as low as 160 if they are holding still but if you want clear images then a high shutter speed is necessary. If you are taking pics inside and have a dark house (like mine) it is better to raise your ISO (or use a speed light, I have one but we don't get along very well so I don't use it much) than to lower your ss. Slow shutter speeds are usually for more "artsy" photos and require a tripod. Google painting with light to see some cool ones. This is a good tutorial on how to photograph waterfalls in which a slow ss is required. Someday I would like try it. In my earlier post I tried an effect called panning. This is fun to try. You will want a slower ss to blur the background and follow the subject with your camera. Stabilize the camera by using a wide stance and holding your elbows against your sides so you don't get camera shake. I know this is kind of a cop out post but hopefully I will be able to go out soon and shoot :)

So since I got chewed out for slacking and not posting recent pictures with this post I snapped just a couple the other day for examples.

Setting for this one are ISO 200 F 4.0 SS 1/500
I wanted a faster shutter speed on this one to stop the movement of the water. I probably could have lowered my aperature a few more stops and increased my shutter speed to stop the movement of the water even more.

Settings for this one are ISO 200 F 20 SS 1/8
I wanted the water to have a more silky look in this one so I needed to lower my ss. In order to do that I had to increase me aperature to F 20. I wanted my ss to be even lower but 1/8 was as low as I could go and still get proper exposure.

There really aren't very many instances that I can think of that you would need a slower ss (at least for what I do) if it was that low when I was taking pictures of my kids the pictures would have been really blurry and not much fun to look at. So when you start shooting manual just remember to keep you ss up unless you are using a tripod and your subject is stationary.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Shutter Speed

Show examples of using a fast and slow shutter speed. Here is a link that goes over the basics of shutter speed. Switch your camera to manual or shutter priority mode for this assignment. Good luck :)