F stops??? I'm a nub cake.


TPF Noob!
Jan 25, 2009
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Well I'm in my 3rd semester of photography, and I have no idea if I'm using my aputure right and WAY to embarest to ask. I really missed alot of the first year, but I went off what my Friend told me. Then i was in a class and some1 told me i was wrong but they are very sarcastic so idk. For land scape I use a higher f-stop so that everything will be in focus. I use lower for still life.

I really like photo and want to do nohing but get better. Please if anyone could help me with the apputure and dof. My pictures I have had in class so far have not seemed to be bad.

My goal for my next shoot I want to go to a local skatepark and get some sick pics of my friends. My idea for this is to have them(subject) crisply in focus and back round out of focus. I usaly do this just with my focus, but since the skate park is big I might need to be farther way. Any ideas? Other then panning.
Well in order to get the skaters with the background blurred out you would need a lower f/stop which should let you use faster shutter speeds to freeze your friends.
Apeture: Small number (f 1.4, f 2) = large aperture, shallow DoF. Large number (f11, f16) small aperture, large DoF. Generally speaking, the wider the field of view, the greater the DoF at a given aperture; in other words, wide-angle lenses have much greater DoF at a given aperture then a telephoto.

Have a look at this on-line DoF calculator for a more detailed explanation.
No need to be embarrassed, we all started somewhere.

Here is how it works:
Smaller f-stop= Larger Aperture= Shallow depth of field
Larger f-stop= Smaller Aperture= Deep depth of field

As for taking the photos of your friends skating, you'll want to shoot with your lowest f-stop available, but the tricky part will be the focus since he won't be in a fixed position. You may want to manual focus on this as the autofocus may not be able to lock in time. If you don't get the results you want on the camera, you can do some work in photoshop to create the same effect as a shallow DOF. Hope this helps and good luck shooting with your friend. Post some pics of the results.

F-stops control 2 things, the amount of light hitting the sensor, and DOF or depth of field. A low F number such as F1.4 will give you a shallow DOF. A high F number such as F22 or whatnot will give you a much wider DOF. It also controls the amount of light hitting the sensor. Because of this, lenses that are F2.8 or larger are usually reffered to "fast glass" becuase a lot more light can hit the sensor, a large opening.

In terms of F stops, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 36 and others are caled "full stops. As you progress from lets say 2.8 to 4, you allow HALF the amount of light to enter. A full stop basically divides the amount of light by 2 or multiplies it by 2.

That's just the beginning, hope this helps.
Not to sound like an ass, but how can you be in the third semester and not know this?

Not a knock on you, but that's kind of the first thing we went over when I was in school.
Not to sound like an ass, but how can you be in the third semester and not know this?

Not a knock on you, but that's kind of the first thing we went over when I was in school.

Dude I ask my self that everyday Lol. But I guess I was some what right. But I understand all the other basic stuff to a good photo light, placement, and contrast.

Thanks to the rest really really really heplfull.

To Sherman tirediron
I'm shooting flim, but after I make a few 5x7's I could scan them and post, or get my digital cammera quicker and post a few.
also if your wanting to get decent skate shots, your really going to need a fisheye.. otherwise you will have to be to far away from your subject in order to get everything in the shot...
The simple reason i have noticed in the past with people that don't understand the basics of sutter to aperture is bad teachers. This is something that you never fully get to master as there are the basics measures and rules of principle and then you start to go outside the basics and adjusting to suit the wanted effects.

I have met many a teacher that was great at getting the basics to you and questioning the reason you did each setting thoughout the program, it forces you to think in the settings mode of what will the result be if i do this or that.
I have also met teachers which are great at comp, film processing, darkroom technique, truly wizards when it came to lighting, however, you never really learn the basics of how to get a desired effect when it came to dof, stop action, motion blur, etc...
I have a amazing teacher. It's my own fault. I'm what you call a bad student/stoner. But I love photo now, and didn't care that much first semester since I was there like 24/90 days. I had mono. Everyone in the class is pretty ****ing amazing, we win so much out of state/ skills USA. And usaly summit the least amount of prints.

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