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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lesson 2, Assignment 1, Aperture- a.k.a. F-stop

The next assignment for my free online photography course has to do with aperture setting, also know as "f-stop".  To summarize what the f-stop is, it has to do with controlling the size of the hole that lets in light.  The smaller the number, the larger the size of the opening.  Lesson 2 explains more about why this is, but basically it is a ratio of the focal length to the size of the opening.  All fine and dandy, but you don't need to understand it to use f-stop.  All you need to remember is that smaller f-stop numbers will let in more light because of a larger opening.

Assignment 1 of  lesson 2 was, "Take a landscape photograph using each available aperture on your camera, while using a 1/60 second shutter speed for each shot, similar to what I've done in the example in this lesson. If you don't have a tripod, you can set your camera on a fence post or any other handy thing to keep it in the same place for each shot."

I have a tripod so I used it, and as the assignment instructed, my shutter speed was 1/60 for each of these shots, note that the first one is not actually just a white frame, there are some shadowy things on the right about 1/3 up from the bottom, it is just overexposed.  Each subsequent photo is done with less light getting in, so less exposure each time:
















I think the last two come the closest to correct exposure, but I think a faster shutter speed would have helped a little too, the sky still seems awfully bright.  I wish now that I had taken another photo on full auto, to see what the camera "thought" would make correct exposure.  It is too late now, the lighting conditions have changed, but it would have been interesting to compare, with future attempts at manual exposure, I'll try to remember to compare an auto exposure.


  1. Well if I would have been smart enough to check your profile for other blogs I would have found the information about your course! :-)

    I have a canon rebel xsi....LOVE it. But I really want to learn more....Thanks for the heads up!

  2. I don't know that a faster shutter speed would have made a difference if you had adjusted the aperture as well. When the sky is so bright, it is sometimes really, really hard not to blow it out. Of course, I am not an expert, just a wannabe novice. :-) By the way, have you seen my photoblog? 365 Days of Me

    Thanks for the links! A book you might consider buying is Understanding Exposure. I learned more from this book than anything else I have done with photography.