oDespite this being my last semester of college, I decided to up my courses to 6 so that I could fit in Digital Photography! I figured:
A) I’m already paying a million dollars for a college education
B) I would probably pay for a photography class at SOME point in my life, therefore..
C) Why not make the most of what I’m already paying and have a phenomenal professor as well?
I’ve only been in the course for about 3-4 weeks now, but I’m still extremely happy that I decided to take it! We’ve just begun learning the technical aspects behind photography such as the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. While I can’t explain it nearly as well as my professor does, over winter break I did find a pretty useful tutorial online for beginners who know nothing about photography: It’s Overflowing by Aimee.
The main thing we’ve been learning, though, is that “we’re all slaves to light” as our professor says hahah. But it’s true! It’s all about finding different combinations of aperture/shutter speed/and ISO to make sure that your photos are “metered” in the middle like so:
If you’re too far on the + side, you’re overexposed and your photos have too much light. Note how the “Chobani” lettering on the back two yogurts are barely visible.
If you’re on the - side, you’re underexposed and too dark. Note how you can barely see the lovely faces of my cousins as they gleefully pop champagne in our hotel hahah. I’m still struggling with this, actually, since it’s very difficult to shoot indoors.
The larger your aperture is (aka the smaller your FStop is), the more light comes in. The longer your shutter speed (the longer your shutter stays open), the more light comes in. And the higher the ISO, the more sensitive your sensor is to light.
It starts getting tricky, though, because if your shutter speed is longer than 1/60th of a second, they might start coming out blurry. And if your ISO is too high, say above 800, then your photos start looking grainy. This photo was taken at a very high ISO since the lighting was so dim.
However, if you look closer, the photo looks very grainy as if you can see all the “dots.” I’m actually not sure how good this example will turn out since this is just tumblr..
The thing that I like playing with the most, though, is Aperture. The FStop is actually the denominator of a fraction that represents the diameter of your lens opening. So an FStop of 3.5 means the diameter is 1/3.5. An FStop of 11 means the diameter is 1/11 which is significantly smaller. Therefore, a smaller FStop = a larger aperture. Confusing, I know! This diagram helps:
The cool part is being able to capture a shallow depth of field versus a large depth of field. SDOF is for when you have a foreground/midground/background and can focus on just one, but have everything else softened or blurry. This is useful for close-ups and making your subject really obvious. LDOF is when everything is in focus. This is useful for capturing texture, architecture, etc. I’m still getting the hang of LDOF, but here are some examples I took in NY of shallow depth of field:
Note how the “Honey” sticker is clear and visible in the first jar, but the rest of the background is blurry.
Again, the snout of this pig at Eataly is sharp and in focus, but the rest of its features and the signs behind it are blurred out.
I’m still learning, but hopefully I can post some more photographs as I gain more knowledge! I’m still getting the hang of large depth of field as well as capturing and blurring motion, too.