Aperture Scale Emergency

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Thru_These_Eyes, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    I had a revelation this morning when I woke up from a dream....

    I was photographing a weird bird in Florida but none of the pictures I took turned out good at all. My white balance was set to sunny day because there was not a cloud in the sky, but I never changed my aperture...I know that must be the reason it didn't turn out, but my question is this:

    Is there something to kind of use as a rule of thumb with the aperture scale? Even if I would have remembered to change my aperture, I have no idea what I would have put it at...I would probably bracket and hope that one of the three was the correct exposure. On a sunny day, would I want less light entering because its so sunny? Ahhhh I am so confused. Please help! Just when I thought I was finally understanding the photographic triangle AFTER reading and re-reading Understanding Exposure, but now I am just feeling confused again. Thanks Everyone! :confused:
     
  2. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    aperture is what essentially controls your depth of field. For taking a bird it's unlikely to matter what you set it at ( unless you've set it to something like f1.4 and it's really close ) and given you said it was a bright day I'm guessing you were more likely in the F11/22 range.

    Shutter speed then controls how much light get's through, smaller apertures (f22 is small, 1.4 is large) mean for the same light conditions you need a slower shutter speed.

    WB doesn't really matter, get it wrong and you can usually fix it postprocessed.

    What mode were you shooting in? manual, aperture priority etc. ?

    What shutter speed were you setting, based on the sunny 16 rule you should have been shooting at about 1/ISO @ f16 ( i.e. if your ISO was 100 then 1/100th @ f16 ) as an approximate guide.
     
  3. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    I had this all backwards! ahhhh! I was shooting at ISO-800 @ 1/1000th sec and @ f16. Wow, I suck at this. I didn't even check my ISO which explains a lot. Thanks for the quick reply....I am in photographer distress at the moment.

    ps.
    my camera mode was in "P" Not sure what that means...I should probably re-read my camera manual, I know I know!
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As Katier explained ...

    Exposure is controlled by both the lens Aperture and the camera Shutter speed.
    Aperture + Shutter speed = Exposure

    Higher aperture = Slower shutter speed

    You can fix the aperture, and just control the shutter speed to adjust the exposure.
    You can fix the shutter speed, and just control the aperture to adjust the exposure.
    You can adjust both.

    Camera with P modes will adjust both aperture and shutter speed automatically for you.
    A = camera adjusts shutter for you
    S = camera adjusts aperture for you
    M = camera does not make any automatic adjustments
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What settings you pick is defined (At least as far as I can tell) by the rough following

    1) ambient lighting conditions
    2) subject matter and the intended look of the final shot
    3) what the camera meter says will get you the exposure you want.

    The first 2 options are what you use to work out what the order of importance is for the settings (aperture, shutter speed and ISO - as well as lens and focal range as well). So lets take the example of the bird in your shot;

    Lighting you say is good and strong - so you should have no fears of getting good shutter speeds - so first off shutter speed and ISO can go to near the bottom of the importance. This leaves you with aperture (depth of field control essentailly). Now what sort of look you want from the shot will help define what aperture you go for - as well as the range to the subject as well (the closer a subject is the more depth of field (smaller aperture bigger f number) you will need to get the body in focus - I won't stick numbers here as I really can't put numbers to it that easily, but if its a bird at a good range off then lets say you want for f5.6 (experience in the field is the big learner here I find)

    now you have an aperture you have to see what shutter speed you can get to - you can see this in manual mode or in aperture priority mode - since aperture is the key settings for us at the moment I would shoot in aperture priority mode to start with - that way the camera will pick the shutter speed to meet the needs for a correct exposure from the aperture you have selected (and ISO)

    Now you have to make a judgement call - is the shutter speed fast enough - if the bird is sitting still and your on a tripod you can get away with a much slower speed than if the bird is in flight (infact if inflight were your aim shutter speed would have been you primary setting with aperture your secondary).

    Then we come to ISO - generally I would have this on ISO 100 or 200 out of the bag as those ISOs will give you a good clean shot most times (that is providing your exposure is correct) so you can safly use them without worries. If your shutter speed or aperture is not as fast/wide as you want then you can boost your ISO (at a cost of noise in your final image) to get that setting where you want it. If the setting still fails to get as fast/wide (smaller f number) then you have to make other choices - either shoot and hope/use exposure compensation (if in a priority mode) or just delibratly underexpose the settings to push your settings towards more of what you want at a cost of exposure (very dependant if this works but a general rule is that you can brighten an image from moderate underexposure and get a decent shot even if its only going to work at websizes - but subject blur can't be edited out).
     
  6. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    That exposure doesn't sound a million miles away.

    The sunny 16 rule would have it at 1/800th@f16. So actually pretty close.. not that you should be shooting at ISO800 in bright sunlight.
     
  7. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236461955&sr=8-1"]Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera[/ame]
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Exposure is controlled by Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO

    Canon cameras use Av for aperture priority, Tv for Shutter Speed Priority (Tv = Time Value), M for Manual, P for Program Mode and Auto.

    Do not forget about ISO.
     
  9. Thru_These_Eyes

    Thru_These_Eyes TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for the help! I think I definitely understand it this time! You guys are the best! =)
     

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