Lurkers Unite! - Assignment #1

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Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
Lurkers Unite! - Assignment #1

Elizabeth - yellow.rose.of.canada
Marie - DrakePlusOne
Amanda - Muddee
Jill - Jillie Bean
Jess - Omrithekat
Lynsey - RedCherry

As you noticed in the little manual exercise from last week, there are many different combinations of settings that you can have that will create a properly exposed image. What you need to do now is decide which setting will be the most important to you in the image that you want to create.

So for your first assignment, I want to take a look at your Aperture and Depth of Field. The main role of your AP is your depth of field (DOF). A high number means you will have more in focus. A low number means that less will be in focus. Portrait and Macro photographers will typically use an open AP (lower number) to make their subject stand out from the background. Landscape photographers will typically use a closed AP (higher number) to have the entire landscape/scene in focus.

1. I want you to take your subject (living or still's your choice) into an area that is shady. Place your subject with something obvious off to the side in the background about 6 feet behind them (a tree, swingset, etc.. no need to actually place a prop unless necessary).

2. Set your AP to f/2.8 (if your lens doesn't open this wide, then skip this step and the next - if needed), adjust the other settings accordingly, and take the picture.

3. Keeping you and your subject in the same spot and using the exact same focal length (don't zoom in or out - VERY important!), close up your AP to f/4, adjust the other settings, and take the picture.

4. Continue the steps with an AP of f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22, remembering to change your ISO and SS according to the reading on the light meter.

5. Share your results!

Jillie Bean's picture
Joined: 07/21/09
Posts: 149

Okie dokie! Here are my results from assignment #1 (all with 50 mm) I definitely notice the dof increase and become clearer the more I closed up the aperture. I liked this! I just wish I could get better at my focusing. Sad

f2.8, 1/1600, ISO 800

assignment 1 007

f4, 1/640, ISO 800

assignment 1 008

f5.6, 1/320, ISO 800

assignment 1 009

f8, 1/200, ISO 800

assignment 1 010

f11, 1/100, ISO 800

assignment 1 011

f16, 1/80, ISO 1600

assignment 1 012

f22, 1/50, ISO 1600

assignment 1 013

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

What method are you using for focusing? I'm by no means an "expert focus-er", but I have it switched to only the center focal point, and I focus (using back button focus) and recompose. Also, I have it set to "One Shot" AF instead of AI Servo. AI Servo is helpful when you're shooting sports or something fast paced. It allows your camera to lock the focus and anticipate where the subject is going to be, so if you're shooting portraits, it can shift, even after you've locked focus, causing your subject to be slightly OOF.

Having said that, did you notice that it was harder to get focus when you were open at f/2.8? The DOF is a lot thinner at that AP, so it's easy for something besides where you focus to be out of the focal plane. In your first one, the leaves are in focus, instead of the flower. So it's not so much that you have a completely OOF photo, it's that you missed the focus on your subject. It takes a lot of practice to shoot open like that. It's something that I'm still trying to master, quite frankly. Not only is the DOF a lot smaller, BUT, your camera tends to take the area with the most contrast and focus on that. The leaves in your photo have more contrast than the flower, so it seems that the camera focused on that, even though you may have put your focal point on the flower.

So, my suggestion would be to close up your AP to around f/3.5 or so for now. That will still give you nice bokeh, and also giving you a little bit more room to get your subject in focus.

yellow.rose.of.canada's picture
Joined: 01/13/10
Posts: 1174

I just wanted to pop in to say that I have not fallen off the face of the earth; I've had to travel down to Vancouver for surgeon appointments and treatments for my back. We are heading back tomorrow, so I will be posting for this assignment probably Wednesday. Thanks!

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

I haven't either! I've been really busy lately Sad

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

That's ok, girls! Just post them when you get the chance. That's why I made the separate threads Smile

Jillie Bean's picture
Joined: 07/21/09
Posts: 149

It was much harder to get the 2.8 in focus. I have just switched over to using BBF. It feels a little awkward right now but I can tell it is a little better. I try to do the keeping elbows in stance to steady the camera but my stupid boobs are just too big. Lol! Smile I am using one shot focusing and using the center point most of the time. I am going to try to keep it 3.5 like you said and see if that helps me get some clearer images. Thank you for the great feedback!!

Omrithekat's picture
Joined: 08/01/07
Posts: 62

Here it is at 1/2000 f 2.8 ISO 100


1/1250 4.0 f 4.0 ISO 100


1/320 f 8.0 ISO 100


1/100 f 11 ISO 100


1/50 f 16 ISO 100


1/25 f 22 ISO 100


clearer background subject with smaller aperature. Sorry so late. Been pretty busy.