Friday, 20 May 2016

Night School: A is for Aperture

OH MY GOD I LOVE NIGHT SCHOOL. I'm learning so much and have never enjoyed a lesson as much as I do these!

So, onto lesson two; this was all about focus and perspective, changing focal length and aperture depending on the subject and what you want the photo to say. I'd already had a little bit of experience in adjusting aperture before starting the course; as an amateur blogger, aperture was that word in chasing the coveted bokeh background. Learning more practically has helped no end, and I feel like I'm finally getting my head around the mechanics of an SLR.

In very basic terms (and trust me, I am a basic bae when it comes to reading/taking instructions), a wider aperture (appears as a smaller f-number on a camera) allows more light into the lens which decreases what's in focus, so you'll begin to see the background of the focal point of an image blur more as the number gets smaller. A smaller aperture (a bigger f-number) lets less light through, meaning more of an image will be seen in focus. The difference in light being allowed in due to the change in aperture can be balanced by adjusting the shutter speed. As we shot on aperture priority, I won't attempt to try and explain this as handily, the camera decides how best to balance it on this mode.

If you want to read more about DSLR functions (explained a whole lot better than I can!), Media Marmalade has some amazing photography articles.

I took inspiration from Sally Mann for my first couple of shots (first one above). She takes pretty hard hitting photos, all in black and white and demonstrates the use of a wider aperture in a lot of her work. Ben was still content with being my model - well, I suppose after months of him taking my photos, it's only fair he gets in front of the camera now and again! I used my 35mm lens which allows a really wide aperture (f 1.8), so you can really focus in on the subject and get that lovely blurry background.

Still shooting with my 35mm lens, I changed the aperture up a little for this next shot, making it a bit smaller this time (around f 5) to allow a bit more of the image to be in focus. I really loved the juxtaposition of the chained gate and the pretty field.

My final image looked at playing with perspective. I used my kit lens and set it to 18mm for a wider angled shot which I think works in terms of the eye being taken along the tree trunk. Not a fancy image, just a fun experiment!

I hope you liked my little round up of my second lesson. I had the third lesson this week and I can't wait to take some more shots with my newly learned techniques! Stay tuned!

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