so what set me off this time aside from musculoskeletal, embryology and endocrine blocks at uni, an the looming exams, feelings of impending doom...blah blah blah... was that once again during conversation i was slipped the comment:
"I wish I had your lens. Then I could take better photos like you"
If you had Jamie Oliver's cooking set, does that make you a better cook?
If you had Air Jordans, would that make you play like Michael?
If you had a EVO VI, would you drive as well as Tommi Makinen?
If you had Einstein's brain would you be as smart as Albert? - maybe...
Having expensive glass, would only make you a twat with expensive glass.
What are you going to do with the lens? what do the number mean? how much depth of field do i want? how much depth of field do i have? if you dont know what i am talking about, dont say that having better gear will make you a better photographer. i could rant all day!... i think the next rant would have to be about...
"hey is that a film camera? why are you still shooting film, everyone has already gone digital, you are still lugging around that film camera...whats so good about it?"
Anyways, back on to topic. We are here to talk about Aperture... the mystical f-stop... you hear about photographers and posers talking about f-stop...
"wow...what f-stop is your lens?"
"i shoot at f/2.0 all the time..."
"my lens has a sweet spot at around f/8.0" blah blah blah... so what is this f-stop?
basically, the f-stop or aperture is how much light your lens lets in. here are some basic rules:
1) lower the f/number = bigger the hole that lets light into your camera = more light
2) lower the f/number = less depth of field = more blur in the photos
3) lower the possible f/number = more expensive lens (remember this does not mean better photos)
so how do you use this f/number?
1) set your camera to a fixed ISO, probably ISO200 would be a good place to start.
2) put your camera into Av mode (aperture priority)
3) chose a small aperture (big number like 22 or the highest your lens can go) and take a photo.
[this is f/22 1/6]
what you should notice is that, alot of the photo is in focus(showing that there is alot of depth of field), the shutter speed is quite low, and may even result in the photo being a little shaky and blurred (not really desired but i just wanted to show you that the shutter speed is decreased)
4) now chose a large aperture (small number like 2.8 or the lowest your lens can go) and take a photo.
[this is f/1.4 1/1600]
what you should notice is that, not all the photo will be in focus(decreased depth of field), shutter speed is significantly faster.
so when would you change the aperture?
- firstly i tend to shoot aperture priority, i find it faster and i know what i want the image to look like so i set the aperture and let the camera work out the shutter speed.
- i will alter the aperture based on how much blur in the background i want, or how much i need to isolate the subject. Usually this means me shooting at a small aperture, around 2.0 to 1.4
- if shooting groups, i will shoot above f/4.0 to make sure that everyone in the photo is in focus.
i think that is enough for a quick intro into apertures. get out and get shooting. sorry that my tutorial is poor, but i think apertures are better seen than talked about.