Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mr. Bee's Tip of the Week: Understanding F-stops and Shutter Speeds

Starting out as a photographer is hard. For me the hardest part is learning all about the f-stops and shutter speeds and light and dark, blah blah blah. I'm still working on it myself, but by practicing and just playing around with it I've found this little trick. Now, it's nothing super secret and most of you may have already discovered it, BUT what I like to do is keep the video turned on while I'm adjusting the different settings. I have a Canon T3, which allows me to do that in any of the settings, be it for photo or video. By leaving the video on before I take a picture I can see the immediate changes I make when trying to set up the picture. If I start playing around with the f-stop then I can see exactly what that does to the picture as I do it. Same thing goes for changing the shutter speed, I can see how light or dark it's going to make the picture before I even take it. This has helped me tremendously in my process of trying to understand the confusion that is a DSLR camera. I've found that the two main photo adjustments to make are with the f-stop and the shutter speed. This is because they are the ones that revolve completely around how much light you will be letting into the lens/camera. For me lighting is the hardest part of taking a picture. I'm still in the learning process myself (as any of my roommates will tell you), so I don't have any tricks for that yet. I plan on finding some though, so stay tuned. 
This is a picture I found on Google that I though was a really good way to show how the f-stops (aperture) works. The thing to remember, but is also really confusing is THE SMALLER THE NUMBER, THE LARGER THE LENS OPENING. Confusing, I know.

It looks like this:
small f-stop = lots of light, more things in focus, larger depth of field
big f-stop = little light, less things in focus, smaller depth of field


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