Okay, we’re doing things a little differently this month. There are already some AMAZING tutorials online about aperture and shutter speed (exposure), and these folks have explained everything better than I possibly could. So rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m linking ya’ll to a tutorial for this month.
Check out the tutorial at this link, and then we’re going to have an assignment for this month. I have created an album on the DD Pics group on FB, where you’ll all be able to upload your assignment pictures.
This tutorial is a great guide to understanding your camera, and how to change the settings to get the focus (and background blur) that you want, as well as how to properly expose your pictures so they look better straight out of camera. Let me know if you have any questions – the easiest way to do this is to post the question on the FB group but make sure to tag me when you post the question.
Just a couple of quick pointers that you can come back to after reading the tutorial. A low aperture is a small number (such as f/2.8). You use a low aperture when you want a small area of the picture to be in focus, or when you’re photographing a person (it creates a pretty, blurry background).
Smaller numbers such as f/2.8 are also called “wide” apertures, because the hole in the lens that lets in light is “wide” open to let in as much light as possible. It can be helpful to imagine your lens as an eye. When you’re in a dark room, your pupil gets really wide to let in a lot of light (just like a wide aperture such as f/2.8 lets in a lot of light). If you’re outside in the sun, your pupil gets really small (such as the small hole in the lens when you change your aperture to f/16) to prevent too much light from getting in.
You have to be really careful when shooting with a wide aperture (such as f/2.8) because the area of the picture that will be in focus is REALLY small – like a couple of inches. So if you’re shooting a closeup of a staged photo, and you use f/2.8, only the part of the picture that you’ve chosen to focus on will be in focus – everything else will get blurrier the further away or closer it is to the camera compared to what you chose to focus on.
Also, remember if you want to “freeze” motion, use a fast shutter speed such as 1/500th of a second. Just remember, when you use a fast shutter speed, you’re letting in less light, so you need to compensate for that with a wider aperture to let in more light.
Now, for the assignment. I want everyone to get out and really practice their exposures this month. I want you to photograph one staged photo indoors using good light, and one staged photo outdoors using good light (remember, open shade is always your friend). You can shoot in either aperture priority or manual, but really pay attention to how your pictures look and try to get the exposure correct in the camera – this will help your colors look brighter and more vibrant when we edit your pictures. I also want you to take two pictures of people – one indoors in good light, and one outdoors. Try shooting at a lower aperture to get a nice blurry background, but be careful and pay attention to getting the proper part of the picture in focus (with a portrait, you want to focus on the eyes so that they’re in focus; in a staged photo, you want to focus on the most important element in the picture so that it’s in focus).
Post all 4 pictures to the “aperture and shutter speed” album on the DD Pics group on FB. Make sure to post your best picture of each assignment with good lighting, focus, and proper exposure. Include your camera settings in the description (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) because this will help me when I offer CC on the images.