Thursday, April 21, 2011

A lesson on aperture

I am taking a photography class on Saturdays from a lady in our church and this past Saturday I was asked to talk a little about portraits and share some of my pictures! It was a lot of fun for me to prepare for this, and I thought I'd share a little bit of it here.

One of the things that I wanted to show is the affect of different apertures when shooting portraits. Specifically, how aperture effects depth of field - how much of your picture is in focus. When shooting portraits you generally want to get the face in focus, and everything else blurry.

Aperture is measured by f-stops, and the lower the f-stop number, the higher or wider the aperture, and the blurrier your background is going to be.

An easy way to think about it is:

the lower the number (high or wide aperture) = the blurrier the background (good for portraits)
the higher the number (low or narrow aperture) = the more in focus the background will be (good for landscapes)

I'm way over-simplifying this, but if you've never taken your camera off "auto", this is a good place to start. Put your camera on aperture priority mode (A or AV mode depending on your camera) and play around with the aperture. Your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed and ISO so that your picture will be correctly exposed, and you can see the affect that aperture has on your photos.

Look at the examples below. I wrote on the picture which f-stop number I used.

They are all straight out of camera (SOOC) with no editing and shot in the middle of the day with the sun directly overhead so they aren't the most flattering, but I think you get the point:)

Make sense?


Candice Reese said...[Reply to comment]

Miller I have always loved your pictures! Kevin and I have both wanted to take photography classes. He has read some books and self taught himself on somethings. I don't know half what he does,but would love to learn. Do you have recommendations on what kind of class to start with?

Keep up the wonderful pictures! I can't wait to see all of the Easter pics!
Happy Easter!
Candice :)

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