Monday, September 30, 2013

Aperture - Part 1

Assignment: Find a scene with foreground, middle-ground and background. Set up the tripod, focus half-way into the scene, keep ISO relatively low. Set to aperture priority, cycle through aperture settings letting shutter speed fall where it may. Review differences in depth of field.

I used the table tripod set up outside, focusing on a skull decoration in a round-about outside the front of our house. It was midday and hot, but little man was happy to run around for a little bit! Also, the size ratio was set to 1:1 for a previous image and I forgot to change that... oh well... :)

















I started this activity with a scenery picture: a cactus at the horizon, a blue sky in the background and mostly dirt with some bushes at the foreground. Really, it did not lend itself well to the aperture changes. But this image was fun to look at the different depths of field. Honestly I think I like the aperture at about 5.6-ish for this image because of the cactus skeleton. I like seeing it mostly clear with the blurred tree, but also having the rocks slightly blurred as well. 

I've never actually sat back and looked at the different aperture settings before. I usually keep it at the lowest setting available for the lens length. I know at the longest focal length with the Samsung lens I can go 5.6 for the lowest aperture (I am unable to control the aperture with the Cannon lens.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Find a subject to photograph indoors without a flash and set your camera on a tripod. Set lens to f8 or f5.6 in aperture priority and cycle through the ISO settings from lowest (in my case 200) to highest (in my case 6400). What is your comfort level with how high you can go?

I had a hard time finding something interesting in the house worthy of photographing. I did two cycles, one of the carseat and the other of our shoes. During the day I tend to open window blinds to allow in light. I don't feel like I am living in a cave. Though, sometimes the heat is pretty high.

So here are the shoes. :) Much more interesting than the car seat I think. And I needed to run through these quickly as it was during nap time.

ISO 200

ISO 250

ISO 320

ISO 400

ISO 500

ISO 640

ISO 800

ISO 1000

ISO 1250

ISO 1600

ISO 2000

ISO 2500

ISO 3200

ISO 4000

ISO 5000

ISO 6400

I wouldn't mind going up to 800 in the house (that was where the automatic setting took the image at), but that is pushing it. Preferably I wouldn't want to go higher than 400. Though I am impressed with the image quality on my camera at the higher settings. It maybe different at night though with no natural light, though who wants to take images with no natural light? That is not preferential. Natural lighting is the best, and with a flash everything is different... 

I played with post production of the ISO 6400 image...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Exposure Triangle

I have read so much about the Exposure Triangle on so many different websites. Now that I have had a camera to change settings and actually play, I haven't really done a whole lot, just read.

Here are a few articles that I have found helpful...

One thing I have a hard time with is what shutter speed best goes with what aperture. Of course this is thinking that there is a 'right' one, and really I know there is not. I guess that I need to get that into my head, it depends on the emotion the image is meant to invoke. But for the best exposure, those numbers confuse me...

Here are my current thoughts on the three elements of the Exposure Triangle...

  • ISO - I know I don't like that grainy look. I feel like it is error on my part.

  • Aperture - I really like that shallow depth of field, I like the background/foreground being blurred a little bit. I think it feels more like 'through the eye' that way. It helps that the smaller the aperture (larger the opening) the more light comes through. the more light, the lower the ISO...
  • Shutter Speed - I always try to get as fast a shutter speed as I can. I want good pictures of my kids. I guess at times I will have to sacrifice graininess for a clearer image (not as motion-blurred). It helps that the aperture I like is the kind that lets the largest amount of light in. :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Focal Length - Part 2.2

Begin at your longest focal length on a subject. as you move through to the widest focal length, move closer to the subject to keep it the same.

Compare the backgrounds in each image. The subject should be the same size in each frame but the background will change based on the angle view of the lens in use.

80 mm

50 mm

35 mm

28 mm

I, again, focused on the cactus in this shot and kept it aligned with the right thirds line. It was a lot of fun walking through the desert!

I find it fascinating, like the mountains with the last lens, the house in this one appears closer to the cactus at the longest focal length, and then the distance grows when going down to the widest focal length. You can tell the distance I am from the cactus because of the post that marks our property line... I wish the clouds were a little less prevalent at this time (although it was wonderful outside), I wanted to see the mountains change with the closer I moved to the cactus.

In my head I picture the angle of view with the vertex at the lens. This is what I see when thinking about the mm numbers... I thought I would share this as it feels like a photography epiphany for me. :)

I am liking the cannon lens less and less, I need a tripod (one that is taller than the table one)... :)

now... on to chapter two. :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Focal Length - part 2.1

Now that I have been sitting on the pictures for a week...

Begin at your longest focal length on a subject (I tried to keep it lined up with the far cactus on the left). as you move through to the widest focal length, move closer to the subject to keep it the same.

Compare the backgrounds in each image. The subject should be the same size in each frame but the background will change based on the angle view of the lens in use.

Here are the images with my Samsung 20mm-50mm lens. Files are saved in jpg formatting from raw but are not edited...

50 mm



I think it is interesting how the mountain is more in view and noticeable at 50mm instead of 20mm. yet the angle of the closer cactus makes you feel smaller in the 20mm.

The angle appears to go from a straight head-on with the 50mm to ... I don't know how to explain the angle of the 20mm... It's all through the front cactus and mountains. the perspective changes...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My 'New' Camera Bag

I bought this green purse a while back with the intention of turning it into a camera bag by sewing up some padded inserts. :) I finally finished it! 

Head over to my blog to see how I put it together. Though I think it may be a bit weirdly worded. Tiredness today has gotten to me! :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Focal Length - Part 1.2

Compare the focal lengths from a specific distance to see the coverage the lens gives you.

These are the images from the Cannon 20-80mm lens.

I, again, did not pull out the tripod but perhaps should have. I actually rested the camera on the hood of the truck (which means I had a hard time seeing to focus). I started out focusing on the tree and ended up focusing on the cactus behind it...

ISO 250
1/2000 sec

ISO 250

ISO 250
1/640 sec

ISO 250
1/320 sec
It's amazing the difference between the widest angle and longest focal length with this lens. It made it very difficult to focus on the tree in the 80mm I cannot tell what the aperture was, as it does not read it through the camera. But the exposure value seemed to increase each time I lengthen the focal length because the shutter speed slowed down.  I find this interesting and wonder why it did this. Perhaps I may learn this later, I might even forget.

I think I prefer the widest angle on this lens, it is easier to shoot and easier to focus. The whole image does not seem to shift like it does with my other lens, it seems fairly centered.

This was fun and I am excited to get outside and try the second part to the first chapter.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Focal Length - Part 1.1

Compare the focal lengths from a specific distance to see the coverage the lens gives you.

Here are the shots with the Samsung 20-50mm lens using the marked points of 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm

I did not use the table tripod.

Images taken in aperature priority mode, raw sf + jpeg. I did not edit these photos, but saved the .srw as jpg using adobe lightroom. I think those images looked clearer than the .jpg images from the camera.

ISO 250
1/160 sec

ISO 250
1/160 sec

ISO 250
1/80 sec

ISO 250
1/160 sec

I just went outside to take some shots, and this was a little difficult as I was also trying to keep an eye on little man at the same time with baby girl asleep in the house in her swing. So once I took these shots, I had to run to the back door to check on her! Fun, fun

To be honest I am not really sure how to compare these images. I prefer being closer to the subject (in this case a cluster of Saguaro cacti) and I feel I should have started either closer to them from the widest angle (20mm) or work backward from the longest focal length (50mm).

I find it interesting that at 35mm the shutter speed dropped by half. I did not think that focal length played a role in that, as the pyramid is ISO, Aperature and Shutter Speed. But, the exposure is brighter than the other two images because of the longer shutter speed...

I do like how the 20mm gives more option of background and foreground in the frame. the 35mm just seems cramped in and cropped versus the 50mm appears to be on purpose. Perhaps it is the tailgate of the truck that caused that and I should have been more cautious of the subject. But since this was strictly a focal length exercise, that was my main priority.

I also find it interesting that the saguaro cluster appears more in the center at 50mm and slightly to the right at 20mm. It seems that the entire plane shifts just slightly to the left the longer the focal length.

I'm really excited about the clouds. Hurrah for cloudy days in the desert! :)

Next will be this same exercise using the Cannon lens...