Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 202 of Project 365

I took this picture while trying to entertain (i.e. bribe) Jenica to stay in the kitchen while we had our carpet and furniture cleaned. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to talk about "depth of field", one of my favorite settings to play with on my camera, and one that was very confusing to me until I read a blog post a couple of years ago explaining it in more "user friendly" terms. So I will attempt to do the same for you. Depth of field refers to the amount of distance in a photograph that will be in focus and is determined by a number of factors, but the one under the most control by the photographer is the f-stop. Your camera has two main settings, the f-stop and the shutter speed. The lower your f-stop number, the less depth of field you will have, meaning that the areas around your main focal point will be blurred. This photo was taken at an f-stop of 2.4. You can see how only a few M & M's are in focus, while the rest, both in front of and behind, are blurry. F-stops can have quite a wide range depending on the kind of lens you have. My favorite lens, my Nikkor 50mm has a range of 1.4 to 16. For scenery pictures where you need everything in focus you want an f-stop of at least 8, maybe even higher. But for portrait type shots where you want the background to blur out so the face in the photo really "pops", I would recommend an f-stop of 2.8 or lower. Most cameras that have some manual settings will have an "A" mode, which is short for aperture priority. Aperture and f-stop are the same thing so if you put the camera on this setting, you can tell it what f-stop you want and the camera will automatically choose the correct shutter speed to have the proper exposure. I encourage you to play around with this setting and see what you come up with! Feel free to ask questions if you have any :)

1 comment:

Ken said...

Hi Shay
I have just spent some time catching up on your Blog. You make your Daddy very proud! Beautiful pictures, poignant writings and your even educating me on how to be a better photographer.