Monday, February 6, 2012

Photography Experiments #1

As you may remember, last summer I bought myself a DSLR camera. Since then I have let the camera do most of my work, either on automatic or on the sports mode that allows for my ever popular jumping shots. Last Thursday I took the first step towards knowing what the heck I am up to with this camera by starting a photography class with my friend Sarah.

The first class we talked about the 3 elements of exposure...

Shutter Speed: controls the amount of time the light is let in

Aperture: controls the size of the opening the light is coming in

ISO: controls the sensitivity to light

We also learned about something called bracketing, in which you can basically take 3 pictures at the same time where the camera will vary either the shutter speed, aperture or ISO. You can set exactly which thing you want to vary, and by how much. This is great because it allows for a little wiggle room. If you are a beginner like me, you might think you have the settings perfect but then when you take the photo, it's just a little off. With bracketing, you have 3 pictures so you can choose your favorite. I also think it's a cool way to see the affects that changing just 1 thing has.

Yesterday I headed outside to see if I could put some of what I learned to the test, so to speak :) Here are my experiments with bracketing:

Take 1- shutter 1/125, aperture f13.0, ISO 100


Take 2- shutter 1/125, aperture f18.0, ISO 100


Take 3- shutter 1/125, aperture f9.0, ISO 100


The first picture above is the middle aperture, and then in the second picture the opening was smaller, and in the third, the opening larger. Cool, huh? I like the first one the best, but I like the water color in the second one as well.

I also played with some bracketing on the shutter speed.

Take 1: shutter 1/640, aperture f5.6, ISO 100


Take 2: shutter 1/1250, aperture f5.6, ISO 100


Take 3: shutter 1/320, aperture f5.6, ISO 100


I'm only just starting to understand when/why I want to vary the shutter speed or aperture, but I do know that faster shutter speed will help me take those jumping shots, kids that don't sit still, and swimming ducks, which was the case on yesterday...


I could also slow the shutter speed if I want to blur movement, but I haven't tried that yet. As for the aperture, I was trying to use a low aperture to blur the background of my photos... I don't know, do you guys think it worked?


Ignore the weird shadows and the fact that Eric looks like he may want to kill me. Surprisingly he was not that annoyed with my random photo shoot so I'm not sure why it looks like he is :) We will just pretend this was after the Superbowl and that's why he looks so unimpressed.

Anyway, let's for letting me show off my experiments. There may be more of these to come :) I'll try to at least find new places so you won't get too bored of ducks and swans!

Do you find photography interesting to learn about? If not, tell me about one random hobby you have...

Disclaimer: I am a huge beginner when it comes to photography. If I ever something TOTALLY wrong in these posts, feel free to let me know!


  1. Nice! I need to start playing with the settings on my camera more again. I was playing with them and experimenting a lot for awhile there but then I got lazy and started always shooting in auto again! You can take way nicer pics with a DSLR for sure though and I think the background in the photo of Eric does look slightly blurred!

  2. I am very much into photography, especially since I got my NIkon! I need to read the directions and get a better understanding of all of this. I mean, the differences in the pictures above are amazing!! I really need to take a class one day.
    Eric is such a good sport :)

  3. hehe love it! You learned a lot in one class! I'd say the background behind Eric is definitely blurred - way to go! I think we should start a side business together.

  4. Interesting! I do not know much about photography, but it is something I would eventually like to learn more about!

    A dorky hobby I used to have was doing logic problems. No kidding. When my best friend and I went to Europe together, my mom sent me a book of logic problems as a bon voyage gift. Brooke took a picture of me wearing glasses, holding that book of logic problems on the trip and that was the picture she used in her her 'meet the bridesmaids' newsletter. Ha.