Mrs. ShuGar’s Snapshots: Photography Class Homework #3

My Camera

So, I have some splaining to do (ode to Ricky from “I Love Lucy”)!  I have lagged in my photography class photos because life just got really busy and I was still trying to figure out how to do these actual assignments.  I wanted to make sure I understood all about aperture and shutter speed before I blogged about it. That said, I am excited to present to you my last photography class assignments in the next few blog posts.  If you want to follow along my photography journey, please begin here.

This next homework assignment was all about exploring focus, specifically known as depth of field, and how to use aperture to manipulate it.  As usual, we were asked to put our camera in manual mode and play around with the different settings. So much harder than you think!

So, one of the rad things about aperture levels is how it can affect your depth of field and regulate what you want and don’t want to be in focus.

Personally, I think photos with less depth of focus (only focus on the foreground or background) are super pretty.  Allow me to show you.

In these photos above, I have put my aperture at a high number (closing down the aperture) so everything in the frame is pretty much in focus and it’s more of a landscape type of photo.  I wanted to make sure the hose and the bike were minimally in focus, even when I set my settings to focus on only one of the aforementioned objects. With a high aperture number, the majority of your picture will be in focus, regardless if you try to focus only on one subject in the photo.  Nevertheless, I am not really showcasing any one item, therefore the overall scenery is the subject.

Watch what happens when I lower the aperture (opening up the aperture)!

Above I am solely focusing on the hose and the background is out of focus; hence, less depth of field.

In the picture above, notice the foreground is now out of focus, but the bike is in focus.  This is still a shallow depth of field, but I changed my focus point.

What I love about less depth of field is you can actually showcase what is most important in the photo.  In picture #3, the hose is clearly the star of the photo. All else is simply background blur.  It makes the hose look super awesome because we give it the spotlight.  Less aperture works wonders for shots where you want to centralize the attention on a particular subject.

Yet, there are many times when everything in your frame needs to be in focus, especially when you capture nature scenes or a group photo, etc.  Everything in the picture is vital and so you should use a higher aperture number to create more depth of field.

For my next photo class assignment, I will share all I learned about shutter speed.  As a teaser, you can adjust shutter speed to create those cool blurry images of movement or if you want to freeze the action altogether. Stay tuned for more photo fun!

This weekend I plan on walking around with my camera and seeing what inspires me. I hope you all have a funtastical weekend!

Photo credit: all photos Mrs. ShuGar