Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Using my Fancy Camera

Almost 2 years ago I got a nice DSLR camera for Christmas and I was SO excited! At the time, we were trying to get pregnant and I knew I wanted to have a nice camera before the baby arrived (which wasn't for another year and a half). I started practicing my photography skillzzz on everything- the dogs, flowers, cards I'd made, anything I could get my hands on. At first, I was OBSESSED with figuring out all the fancy tricks and vocabulary that came with this new hobby. But the more I researched, the more confused and overwhelmed I became. It seemed like no matter how much I researched and asked around, I just couldn't get my pictures to be at the level I wanted! So I gave up trying to be the "oh hey, it's no big deal, I'm not a professional but my pictures look great anyway" kind of photographer and settled for being the "I use my auto settings and I'm okay with it" photographer.

Fast forward to today. Titus is here and I really do want to have great pictures of him. I take pictures that are probably better than people who don't have a DSLR, but they're definitely not where they could be! I stumbled across this blog that finally broke down all the fancy terms in a way that I could begin to understand (written by another DSLR newbie). I was so excited to try out her tips and tricks! Lesson one was aperture, which is basically how much light you let in through your lens (aka, how to make the background look blurry). The general idea is that lower aperture keeps one thing in focus and blurs the background, while higher aperture brings the whole picture into focus and gives everything detail.

The homework for this lesson was to shoot a line of objects started at the lowest aperture setting (3.8 for my camera) up to the highest (25 for my camera) and noticing the difference. I set my camera to Aperture Priority, which just means that everything else (white balance, ISO, etc.) were on auto and the only thing I was changing was the aperture setting.

So here is my homework assignment for lesson 1:

Did you notice that at 3.8 only the first apple is in focus and by 22 the apples, tablecloth, and chairs are all being brought into focus?

Cool, huh?! I knew the jist of aperture before this, but all the numbers were just overwhelming. This assignment helped to make it feel a little more manageable and I'm excited to try out the next step, shutter speed!


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