Using f/stops, Shutter Speeds, and DOF

Now to see how all these controls can work together to give you what want in your capture

A few practice photo challenges…

  1. Understanding f/stops and Depth of Focus
    1. Go find a long bridge that you can pull over and set up a camera and tripod.
      1. At one end of the bridge set your gear up. It would be better if a building is in the far background, or something at the INF point.
      2. Set your lens at 50mm (fov), — around the 35mm mark on 1.5 or 1.6 crop cameras –and 25mm for 4/3 and m4/3 camras
      3. Set you camera on “Aperture” priority
      4. Set your ISO at the lowest setting
      5. Set your f/stop at the largest opening (smallest #: f/3.5 or f/2.8 etc.. what ever it is)
      6. Aim so one side of the bridge railing is on one side of the image. and extends inward and upward in your picture.
      7. focus on the  bridge rail at 10 feet away. (if you can put a temporary object at 10 feet, that won’t fall off, even better)
      8. Start shooting a set of images.
      9. After each capture change the f/stop to the next FULL f/stop…. some cameras allow full stop changes… most are set at 1/2  or 1/3  f/stop changes. When you get home,  look at how the things out-of-focus are slowly becoming in-focus as the lens is stopped down (larger #’s)
        1. Example: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16
      10. At one point, around f/8 or f/11, the INF should be sharp, along with your 10 foot marker.

      Depth of Field Explained (by snodart.com) from NT on Vimeo.

  2. Understanding shutter speeds/For Blur or Sharpness
    1. Go find a place where there is moving water. Like a waterfall, or fast moving stream.
    2. Set up your camera on a tripod aimed at the water.
    3. put you camera in “S” mode (shutter priority)
    4. Focus on the water
    5. Set your shutter speed at 1/125 to start and take a photo
    6. Change the Speed to 1/60 and take a photo
    7. Change the Speed to 1/30 and take a photo
    8. Keep changing the Speed until you get to 10-sec
    9. Now you have a good sampling of what effect each shutter speed will give you.