Tag Archives: ISO

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?

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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
traci-marie@traci-marie.com
http://www.traci-marie.com
http://www.facebook.com/tracimariePhoto

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.

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So you wanna take better pictures?

30 Nov

DSC_4726You want to take better images of Timmy, Jane or Rover but how do you do it?

You have your eye on that snazzy DSLR that is on sale but how do you use it?

I know you want to whip your camera around and take a crazy rapid burst of shutter clicks but refrain from picking up your camera and read this series first. Trust me – I know it’s difficult because your index finger is itching to snap away but trust me – this will be beneficial in the end! You can thank me later.

Understanding photography is not easy and it can be confusing. You will need to read this over and over to truly grasp how each of these work and then play with your camera settings to get a solid understanding of it. If you think you will learn photography in a day, a week, a month then I’m here to tell you that is not going to happen. Have patience, you will get better but you are not going to be shooting like Jerry Ghionis in 30 days.

Do you wonder what makes a great photo of Timmy? How that background gets blurred while cute Jane stays in focus. Why is Rover off center? We will tackle these questions but we’re going to do it in segments to let this information soak in and allow you to practice what we learn.

What are we going to discuss? We’re going to discuss each of the items listed below and how they relate to each other to capture those stunning images so we can spam everyone on Facebook, Tweet to the world and share Timmy, Jane and Rover with Great Aunt Thelma once removed.
Once we have the basics down. We’re going to learn to shoot the fun stuff like Christmas lights, Christmas trees and holiday shenanigans. But first things first – what is ISO????

Most consumer cameras have an ISO range of 200 – 1600. What does this mean? ISO stands for International Standards Organization which is a scale for measuring sensitivity to light. A 200 ISO setting will be less sensitive than a 1600 setting.

If you are outside in sunlight then you will most likely want to use a 200 ISO setting. If you are indoors then you increase your ISO setting to allow more light to enter the camera.

There is a tradeoff for increasing your ISO. A higher ISO means the more grain that will be visible in your image.

Higher ISO will benefit you when you need a fast shutter speed but your aperture is wide open. What does this mean? This statement will make more sense as we go along but high level – shutter speed controls how quickly the shutter opens and closes. Aperture controls how much light the camera lets in. So a higher ISO (more sensitive to light) allows you to take a picture in low light when your aperture is wide open and you need a fast shutter speed (stops movement, eliminates blur).

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
traci-marie@traci-marie.com
www.facebook.com/tracimariePhoto

Try It Exercise:
1) Find a stationary well lit object that you want to photograph (something near a window or under shade)
2) Set your camera to Automatic
3) Set your ISO to 200 then take your picture
4) Set your ISO to 1600 then take your picture
5) Compare the pictures
6) 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.

DSLR: digital single-lens reflex camera

ISO: International Standards Organization which is a scale for measuring sensitivity to light.

Patience: the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.

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