The kit lens that comes with a DSLR isn’t usually the highest quality and if you’re serious about photography you soon find yourself buying more lenses. I mostly use a 18 – 105 mm lens for events but for some events you need more zoom. I’m thinking about buying a 18 – 300mm long lens but they are very expensive. It will cost at least £500 and for one that goes really wide it would be more like £750. I’m using a 55 – 300mm lens now and I’ve been using it more to get some idea of how useful a 18 – 300mm would be. A long lens is very useful but you also need to be able to zoom out.
I experiment a lot with my photography and take an artistic approach. I’m not just taking snaps I want to create artistic pictures that can be displayed and bring some pleasure for years to come. Some photographers have rules that help them compose good shots. I tend to experiment much more with my shots and so have much more rejected. As you are developing your style you will see what works and what doesn’t work. In developing your landscape photography try the 1/3 rule that says 1/3 of the frame should be land or sky.
The photographer’s triangle is; ISO, aperture and shutter speed and when it is a cold dark winter day with poor light, your first choice is usually to up the ISO. This effectively makes the sensor more sensitive to light. You can also shoot more with a wide aperture on aperture priority and that will give you a reasonable fast shutter speed but with a narrower depth of field.
Wide open in photography means the widest aperture that the lens will give you. This is often around f/4.5 with most lenses. I can go wider with my prime lens which will go to f/1.8. Take a look at this wide open shot of some beer cans:
Wide apertures are great for portraits and close-up shots of people. At events, wide apertures are preferable because they also allow us to shoot at faster shutter speeds. As the days get darker and we lose more and more light I shall be using aperture priority and shooting wide open much of the time. One of the main reasons people get blurred photos is poor light and then the camera sets the shutter speed too slow. I set my camera on aperture priority and the widest aperture and then check the shutter speed. For a scene where I want to freeze movement, I’m looking to get a shutter speed of 1/100 of a second. For this picture, I chose a wide aperture and had a soft focus filter on the lens.
I went to Tipton Canal Festival on Sunday and that was guaranteed to give me some multi-coloured shots as the brightly coloured narrowboats break up the dull canal scenes. It was quite a cloudy sky but the sun was breaking through at times. Mostly I was looking for shots where I could use a wide open aperture and zoom in on my subject. I used the 18 – 105mm lens to give me a little versatility when it came to zooming in.
It’s Sunday morning and so once again I share my thoughts with readers. Today, I have bokeh on my mind. What’s that? I think it’s Japanese for blur; anyway, it’s what photographers call the blur in some wide aperture photos like the one below. I want to get sharp portraits with blur in the background. I also want to be able to take better photos under fluorescent lights so I ordered a special filter. In fact, I ordered a set for my 35mm prime lens and another set for my 18 to 105mm lens. At least I didn’t buy a new camera or a lens. I have some self-control; not enough to resist buying a light meter, though.
When you first start to use a DSLR all the settings can be confusing and you have to get used to them slowly so you set the camera quickly without thinking too much about it. The first thing to learn is how to arrange your shot to get a nicely composed shot with lots of interest and depth.
I took this photo of a swan on Hydes pool last August. I used spot focusing and a wide aperture. You can see the leaves in the foreground are out of focus, but the swan is in focus. (more…)
I didn’t take any photos this weekend, so I’m using more photos today from the fun day last week. This one was shot with a wide aperture and fast shutter speed and it was after I’d fitted the warm filter. (more…)
Last week I looked at wide apertures for portraits, that can get your subject in sharp focus, but the background out of focus. This photo isn’t one of my best ones, it’s just the concrete post in the garden that holds the washing line. You can see easily that it’s in focus while the background is blurred. (more…)