Thursday, April 10, 2008

Experimenting with Aperture Priority Setting!

Tony and I (and my friend Ang and her husband and our other friend A) recently joined a brand new photography club here in good old Sigonella, where we pretty much jump on any chance to do something fun. We attended our first meeting/class/potluck on Saturday the 5th. Our first "homework" assignment was to research the aperture setting on our personal camera, and to experiment with it creating two pictures: one with a narrow depth of field (where only a little piece is in focus) and one with a wide depth of field (where a larger piece is in focus.)

Yesterday, after playing with the camera, I was really frustrated because every picture (whether on the aperture setting or the shutter setting) looked the same! And I couldn't figure out how to change the aperture anyway. Well, after a while I headed indoors (as I was working on Carlee and flowers,) and I decided to *gasp* read the manual. I found the page... and turns out there's a nifty little wheel that I was supposed to be using. LOL. I didn't know that applied to the aperture setting. Well, I got really excited to try it, and my battery decided to die.

So, today, I tried again. And none of my pictures were working. The narrow depth of field pictures (low F stops) were coming out fine, because the shutter was fairly fast. All of my wide depth of field pictures (high F stops) were coming out blurry and I couldn't figure out why. On top of that, for some reason, when in Aperture Priority setting, my camera only wants to focus on the right third of the picture frame. I don't get it. I don't see anywhere to change that. When I switch back to automatic, it lets me focus anywhere. Very weird...

Finally this afternoon, on another attempt I brought out my tripod. Still, they were coming out blurry. You see, at the moment, I am using my 55-200mm lens because my shorter one is broken. I am not used to using this longer lens, and every breath, every movement is amplified with a longer lens, and especially when trying to shoot wide depth of field pics when the shutter has to stay open longer. It finally clicked.... the timer! duh. So I finally got my pics to come out right.

My subject ended up being simple since I was seriously about to throw this lens at the window. haha (not really.) But in the end, I'm happy with it as my first successful attempt at the different depths of field. Maybe I'll try again with some different subjects later. I really had wanted to do one of Carlee holding out a flower, one focused only on the flower and the other focused on both Carlee and the flower.. so we'll see. I definitely need more practice anyway.

Overall, I am just so excited to finally be out of the automatic setting! And I seriously need to order a new 18-55mm lens. Anyway, here are the pics:

Narrow Depth of Field
1/20 sec at F/4.8

Wide Depth of Field
1.3 sec at F/25
(no wonder I couldn't hold it still long enough!)

My camera is a Nikon D-50 that we bought a little over 2 years ago... a nice camera if you know how to use it. lol... I'll get there, I promise. :0)