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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Assignment 2: Aperture (basic)

Aperture: (aka f-stop or f-number) is the opening inside the lens. This opening is also known as the iris diaphragm. The iris diaphragm is made up of several metal blades overlapping to form a circle that can move in and out in order to change the shape of the opening. A big diaphragm opening allows a lot of light into the camera. A small opening allows less light to enter.

The f-number (f-stop) indicates how big or small your opening is. What we have to remember is: smallest f# = biggest hole opening, biggest f# = smallest opening. So, if you want a lot of light to enter your camera you would set your f-stop number to f/4 or lower. If you want less light to enter you would set your f-stop number to f/5.6 or higher.

Often photographers talk of full stops, half stops and so on. Stops are each size differences of your iris diaphragm. There is a sequence of numbers that all SLR cameras use. The sequence is as follows (there will be more numbers than listed in your camera, I am listing the most common ones): f/1.4f/2f/2.8f/4f/5.6f/8f/11f/16f/22f/32 Opening your aperture one full f-stop (aka stopping down) doubles the amount of light entering your camera (f/5.6 to f/4 = double light). Closing your aperture one full f-stop (aka stopping up) cuts the amount of light entering your camera in half (f/5.6 to f/8 = half the light).

The mathematics can be confusing but the important information is: big opening = small f-number = more light, small opening = big f-number = less light!

Two-part assignment:

#1 (just as the first assignment (refer here); this time set your speed at either 1/30 or 1/80 and change your f-stop until the meter reads a 0 or a relatively good exposure)

#2 (f-stop experimentation)
-pick a subject, either human or not (preferably one that will stay still while you are practicing)
-find an open shaded spot (if an over cast day you can pick anywhere, the clouds will act as your open shade)
-set your iso to 100 and WB to cloudy or shady (or on auto if you are not sure what to look for yet)
-set your speed to 1/50
-set your f/stop to the lowest number it will possibly go, focus on your subject and take a picture, repeat the steps but stop up on each picture (making your f-stop number one step larger, you will be closing your aperture, as the numbers go higher your images will become dark)
-keep shooting until your subject is too dark to see.

These are all very basic and simple assignments at first, they will gradually get a little more challenging. The next assignment I plan on is depth of field (DOF) since it truly goes hand in hand with aperture control.

Future assignments will include shutter speed, iso, WB (white balance including 18% gray cards), creative uses of aperture/DOF including macro, creative uses of shutter speed including panning and motion, lighting including reading different lighting conditions and lighting techniques, plus more intermediate technical training for those who need/want it.

The purpose of these assignments is to give a basic understanding of the technical behind the camera. I am intentionally going very basic instead of throwing everything out there. There is so much more behind everything that is written and I will try to include as much as I feel fit in each lesson, however the main purpose is to go step by step with as simple a language as I can muster. Please PM me or post if anything is unclear or questionable, I will help or correct as best I can.

Please post your outcomes under the appropriate assignments, I will be doing these right along with everyone else so dont be shy! Have fun!

Refer here for the 1st assignment!
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Last edited by newlove; January 30th, 2009 at 07:06 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newlove View Post
Two-part assignment:

#1 (just as the first assignment (refer here); this time set your speed at either 1/30 or 1/80 and change your f-stop until the meter reads a 0 or a relatively good exposure)

Here's mine: I choose 1/30 as my speed. My f-stop stopped at f/7.1 when my lightmeter read "0".

I'll post the second part of the assignment at a later date...
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Scott111184 Scott111184 is offline
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Another great write-up Lise!

For everyone that is new and trying to learn I would really suggest giving all these assignments a try and post your results. Don't be afraid to give it a try and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. You have probably heard this before but the only stupid question is the one not asked. If I had a lens right now I would do it for the fun of it.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 04:07 PM
butterflykiss butterflykiss is offline
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Thanks for the info.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:31 PM
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Scott111184 Scott111184 is offline
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To all the newbies out there or people who just want to join in. We need to let Lise know that these assignments are not going unnoticed, lets see some participation and have fun while doing it? She has a lot of knowledge to share and is a wonderful teacher.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 06:44 AM
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DesertEagle DesertEagle is offline
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Thank you, Newlove

I really like these exercises that Lise puts together, although I did not receive any feedback on the first photo I posted for the first exercise. I think her time and efforts are really worth it, it is helping me to slowly understand the workings of my Nikon D300. I have been taking photos for a while without much success and through the feedback on this forum I am finally starting to see an improvement however it is rather small at the moment. Please keep the exercises going their are those of us who do not have the natural photographer thing going on and some of us are in a location where all we have to learn and get better is this forum. I mean to say we do not have a group or other photogs from whom we can learn.

Thank you so much for your time and efforts Newlove.

Don
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Old January 30th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertEagle View Post
I really like these exercises that Lise puts together, although I did not receive any feedback on the first photo I posted for the first exercise. I think her time and efforts are really worth it, it is helping me to slowly understand the workings of my Nikon D300. I have been taking photos for a while without much success and through the feedback on this forum I am finally starting to see an improvement however it is rather small at the moment. Please keep the exercises going their are those of us who do not have the natural photographer thing going on and some of us are in a location where all we have to learn and get better is this forum. I mean to say we do not have a group or other photogs from whom we can learn.

Thank you so much for your time and efforts Newlove.

Don
OMGosh Don, I feel like such a dork. I'm so sorry your post went unnoticed, if it happens again please PM me to give me a wake up call, sometimes I just get busy with other things, I'll be more aware from now on. Thank you for your response. I do appreciate your and everybody's comments and will be keeping these going. Give me a couple of days to get the third assignment up and running.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:09 AM
drc928 drc928 is offline
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Re: Assignment 2: Aperture (basic)

I am not sure if this is the right place for these or not, but I was playing with my camera at work again today (yes, my job is very boring sometimes...). I was playing with the aperture settings along the lines of what you are saying here. I also noticed that with the larger aperture, I lost detail in the foreground and background of my pics. Not in an artistic good way either. In this case, I thought the larger aperture actually detracted from the picture. The first one was shot using a f1.8 and the second was shot at f9. Both were using flash and natural backlight (from the window behind him) Only setting changed was the aperture and shutter speeds. What do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?
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  #9    Top
Old March 15th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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newlove newlove is offline
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Re: Assignment 2: Aperture (basic)

Hey, drc928, glad to see you post! You posted two good examples of what happens with the aperture at specific openings. The wider opening (smaller number) seemed to want to focus only on a specific facial feature (I think it went to his mouth area, imo) while the smaller opening (bigger number) brought everything into sharp focus.

Generally in portraiture a smaller opening is used, but for the more creative non-traditional portraits you will see bigger openings used...I use mostly a f/5.6 or f/8.0 for my portraits. f/5.6 gives a nice softer focus on my individual while blurring the background more and the f/8.0 I use for full body shots and extreme close-ups (depending on the story I want to tell).

So, aperture is great for both techniquelly sound images AND creative phototaking (and if you get them both to work hand-in-hand then you've got yourself a winning image!)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drc928 View Post
I am not sure if this is the right place for these or not, but I was playing with my camera at work again today (yes, my job is very boring sometimes...). I was playing with the aperture settings along the lines of what you are saying here. I also noticed that with the larger aperture, I lost detail in the foreground and background of my pics. Not in an artistic good way either. In this case, I thought the larger aperture actually detracted from the picture. The first one was shot using a f1.8 and the second was shot at f9. Both were using flash and natural backlight (from the window behind him) Only setting changed was the aperture and shutter speeds. What do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?
__________________
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New to the Corner?

Stuff by me
Create Eye Pop
How to make colors POP in your photos
So you want to start a business Part1 & Part 2

Basics of Photography
  #10    Top
Old March 23rd, 2009, 09:07 PM
manwithacam manwithacam is offline
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Re: Assignment 2: Aperture (basic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by drc928 View Post
I am not sure if this is the right place for these or not, but I was playing with my camera at work again today (yes, my job is very boring sometimes...). I was playing with the aperture settings along the lines of what you are saying here. I also noticed that with the larger aperture, I lost detail in the foreground and background of my pics. Not in an artistic good way either. In this case, I thought the larger aperture actually detracted from the picture. The first one was shot using a f1.8 and the second was shot at f9. Both were using flash and natural backlight (from the window behind him) Only setting changed was the aperture and shutter speeds. What do you guys think? Am I on the right track here?
What you have uncovered is Depth of Field (DOF). Im not going to go into it as the OP will in due time. But its self discoveries like this that keep us interested and wanting to learn more. Well observed.
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