Photo Assignment #3: Depth of Field

I’m not sure if I’ve conveyed how much I love this photo series, so let me say it now… I LOVE IT!!! And have I mentioned it’s free? Amazing!

My first two posts documented my experiences learning about the roles of shutter speed and ISO in the photo exposure process. The third and final exercise in the introductory section of the 31 Days to a Better Photo series focuses on depth of field… Get it? Pun was totally not intended, honestly.

For this assignment my subject was a thrilling and wildly exciting fence post. Let’s dig in, shall we.

The assignment…

1. Set camera to aperture priority mode
2. Open the aperture fully and take a pic
3. Move to the next largest aperture and take a pic

Note: it is recommended to do this exercise using a tripod so the subject remains on the same plain for reach shot.

Note Note: I didn’t use a tripod 🙂 But, I did brace myself on the large pillar at the end of the fence. Would that be called a human tripod?

The test shots…

067 (640x425)

F/3.5 (the largest aperture setting on my kit lens),1/1600 sec, ISO 200

068 (640x425)

F/4, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200

071 (640x425)

F/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO 200

074 (640x425)

F/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 200

077 (640x425)

F/11, 1/200 sec, ISO 200

080 (640x425)

F/16, 1/100 sec, ISO 200

083 (640x425)

F/22, 1/60 sec, ISO 250

Final thoughts…

Though my kit lens doesn’t stop down to an extremely large aperture, it does produce a nice background blur (or bokeh as I’ve recently learned). I really like the bokeh at the larger apertures. Then, as my aperture got smaller more of the background came into focus until F/22 where everything in the image is pretty well in focus. It was also interesting to see the shutter speed slow down by almost half in most of the photos as the aperture got smaller, while the ISO remained constant until the final photo where it increased slightly.

Depth of field is a new concept to me. Having always used a point and shoot camera, I have never been able to achieve this look in my photos. Since getting my camera last year, I’ve played with depth of field a LOT, perhaps too much, but oh well.

Next, we learn about exposure compensation and in-camera metering. Two things I know absolutely nothing about. Then, I think we’re given a little solo assignment where we have to go out and shoot some stuff using what we’ve learned in manual mode.

Until next time…

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