I purchased a new camera this year. I have been playing around with it and mostly using it as a point and shoot but it is a DSLR and I want to know more and use it more effectively. Although I am very impressed at what it can do without my knowing very much at all.
So I took a book out at the library, appropriately enough for a teacher librarian. It is called, “Digital SLR from Click to Print” by Will Cheung. I am using it as a text book and setting myself some reading and practising goals.
Today I was playing with what is meant by and what can be done with aperture and focal length. I went to a park to take pictures. I found that in most modes on my camera, I can’t even see what the focal length is on the display. I can see it in the little numbers through the view finder. I can play with the focal length when I am in manual focus. Focal length is other wise decided by the auto focus feature, so it seems. Depth of field is most apparent when the subject is a bit further away from the background. If you are taking a picture of a leaf on the ground. The leaf is too close to the ground for any difference between the focus on the leaf and focus on the ground. In addition, when the subject is too far away, there doesn’t seem to be huge differences in what the focal length can do to adjust the clarity of the background compared to the subject.
When I played with the ISO, I found that the lower number led to less time of exposure. This may be self-evident to experts but it was news to me. I took a picture of a leaf with ISO 800 and it was washed out but at ISO 100 it was perfect. The sunlight was fairly strong at times today, I’m sure this would make a difference too. I have much to learn but this was lesson number one.
Leaf taken with ISO 100, f 5.6 1/125