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So You Wanna Take Better Pictures Part 2: What is aperture?

5 Jul

For the first How To in this series see So You Wanna Take Better Pictures.

What is aperture?

Aperture: a circular opening that limits the amount of light that can enter and expose the film/sensor.

The aperture size determines the amount of light that is allowed to reach the sensor. We know aperture in F-stops. The smaller the F-stop number then the larger the lens opening (aperture). So an aperture f/2.8 allows more light to reach the sensor than f/5.6 and f/5.6 allows more light than f/22. This can be a little confusing as the bigger the number equals less the light.

Quiz time!

Say that you have a lens and the aperture range is f/1.4 to f/16.

What is the maximum aperture size?
What is the minimum aperture size?

If you answered that f/1.4 is the maximum size and f/16 is the minimum then you score a gazillion gold stars! Why you ask? Because f/1.4 allows the most light (large aperture) and f/16 allows less light (small aperture).

You want to take a picture of Timmy so that he is the only thing in focus and the background is blurred. You can accomplish this with a large aperture. The smaller the number then the larger the aperture size. So an aperture of f/2 will give you that blurry background while Timmy is in focus.

Jane and Rover are playing on a hill and you want all of the picture to be in focus. What aperture size will produce this outcome? A small aperture you say? Another gold star! You select f/16 and grab a clear shot of the bushes, Jane, Rover and the beautiful trees behind them.

Below is an example of an f/3.5 aperture and an f/22 aperture as well as the same picture taken with each. Do you see the differences?





Next we’ll discuss Depth of Field which is directly related to the aperture size.

Got it? Let’s try it and let me know if you have questions or need a little assistance!

traci-marie Rogers
traci-marie Photography

Try It Exercise:
1) Set your camera to Aperture Priority Mode. You will be able to select the aperture to use and the camera will select the shutter speed
2) Find a stationary well lit object that you want to photograph (something near a window or under shade)
3) Set your aperture to f/2 (large aperture) and snap a picture (if you do not have this aperture then select f/3.5)
4) Set your aperture to f/8 (medium aperture) and snap the same picture
5) Set your aperture to f/22 (small aperture) and snap the same picture
6) Look through each image to view the difference between each. Notice what is in focus between each.

What did you find?

Glossary for this lesson:

Aperture: an opening, such as a hole or slit; in a camera, a circular opening that limits the amount of light that can enter and expose the film.

Depth of Field: the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image.

Shutter Speed: the rate at which the aperture of a camera opens and closes to let in light and expose the film.

Moms Can Shoot Photography Classes

29 May

Mom, most of the images of your child are taken by you.  You want to look back at your photos and remember the fun, the laughs, the love you felt that day instead of wishing your composition looked better, your exposure was cleaner and remembering the frustration of trying to capture the shot.  Or worse – you missed the shot because the image is blurry or over exposed.

A Mom’s Can Shoot private individual or group class will help you capture the images you will be proud to display at your baby’s Senior Graduation party!  Schedule a class with a group of friends for a mom’s night out at a friend’s house or a day of learning while the kids are at school.

We’ll cover:
-10 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids
-Introduction to Exposure
-Shutter Speed
-Training Wheels
-Using your Camera’s Basic Settings
-Lens Overview

The group class is $100 per person with a minimum of three participants.  The class lasts for 3 hours for 3-5 moms, and can be extended to 4 hours for 6-8 moms (to allot for extra time to answer questions that may come up for a larger group size).

Each mom receives a handout, print supplier information and a list of fun and interesting locations to shoot in the Houston area.

This class can be modified to appeal to dads, teens and children.

traci-marie Photography is also available to speak at mom group meetings.

Contact me for additional details.  I look forward to hearing from all of you moms and Happy Shooting!