Newbie Light Questions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by curiouslyadrift, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. curiouslyadrift

    curiouslyadrift TPF Noob!

    Dec 22, 2004
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    I'm a newbie, so I have a couple basic things that I was hoping could be clarified here:

    The aperature can be used to control light, as can the shutter speed... is there any time when I'd actually want to raise the aperature number rather than adjust the shutter speed? Would this decrease the depth of field or something?

    Light meters - good to have? I hate using auto settings, but I always end up taking multiple test shots on different settings before I find one that handles the light correctly. Would a separate light meter help me with this? Is that what they do?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Jan 30, 2004
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    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    The aperture and shutter speed both control the amount of light getting through to the film/sensor. Each has it's own uses. Aperture does directly control depth of field, yes. If you make your aperture smaller, (larger number), you increase your depth of field. More things will be in focus. If you make your aperture bigger, you have a shallower depth of field.

    Sometimes you want to freeze action, so you need a very fast shutter speed. You will need lots of light for this, so depending on your situation, (the amount of light) you might have to open your aperture up. Sometimes you want to blur the motion of a scene, like a waterfall, so you make your aperture smaller so your shutter speed can be longer.

    Light meters are good. Your camera has a meter in it already most likely. If aren't able to get good exposures, you may be reading it wrong, or it may not be working correctly. There's different types of metering. I don't know what camera you have. Taking multiple shots (bracketing) is a good idea even if you have a good idea of what your exposure should be. I always bracket shots, usually by changing my shutter speed, since I want to maintain my dof.

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