This week in Beyond Beyond, Kim shared some information about f-stops (aperture size) and how that affects the depth of field (dof) in a photograph. Of course, there are many things that affect the dof of a photo, such as the distance to the subject (having the lens closer to the subject produces less depth of field), the distance between the subject and the background and the focal length of the lens (e.g. a 100 mm lens will produce less dof than a 35 mm lens). If there is one thing I do know about photography (and I still have so much to learn), it is how my camera settings and my position affects depth of field. Typically, I am trying control depth of field, so I almost always shoot in aperture priority on my camera. I don't find that I have a lot of reason to switch over to full manual most of the time and even if I am looking for blur--for example, in long exposures of moving water--I know how to do that in aperture priority as well. I will switch to full manual, sometimes, when I am using a flash indoors and want to drag the shutter to balance the flash with the ambient light. I don't struggle to understand the technicalities of the camera. That part comes relatively easy for me.
The things that I struggle with the most in photography is finding my style (figuring out how to get a unique and artful image that does not seem contrived or boring).
Kim challenged us to have a go with the aperture settings on our camera and also showed us her start-to-finish processing on a simple composition of a bowl of pine cones on a white chair--complete with adding textures and text. She gave us a sample image to try the steps on or if we prefer, she challenged us to do our own thing. I chose to use my own photographs, but took the lead from Kim on the simplicity of the compositions. I was using my 100mm macro lens, and knowing that lens, I knew I wanted the aperture opening rather small to get good sharpness in the subject (with the exception of the leaf. I was rather far from that subject were all taken at at least f/19). Being a macro lens, my 100mm has a fairly shallow dof from the get-go.
I followed many of Kim's processing steps--going from Lightroom, to Photoshop CS5. I added textures to a couple of the images and text to all of them, thinking about where to place the text and what fonts to use, etc.. I had not previously known how to preview fonts in the image, so I am very grateful for that time saving tip.
I do not add quotes to images very often, but when I do, I always enjoy the process.
|100 mm, f/22, 1/15 sec. ISO 200|
|100 mm, f/32, 0.5 sec ISO 200|
|100mm, f/4.5, 1/350 sec, ISO 200|