Photo Tip Friday - What's that dial for? Pt. 2

by Mary Denman   @MaryDenman

Today's post is about Aperture Values or f-stops. 

Let's recap last week's post

Many cameras have multiple settings so you can control how you take pictures.  

This is my camera's dial and settings.

The main settings we're focusing on now are:

Manual - where you have total control of the                  following components:

Av -       Aperture Value
Tv -       Time Value
ISO -     which is the "speed" of your film. 

I won't go back into what each component does since you can read the prior post. But I do want to give you some photos that will help illustrate what the components do. 

Today, we're looking at Aperture Values.  
Because they serve two functions, I'm just going over them today. We'll hit Time Value and ISO in a future post.

Apertures typically run: f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.5, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22

Aperture determine 2 things. 

1) What your depth of field is.  The term f-stop refers to Focal Stop or Focal Length. Think of this as how clear you want your photo. Do you want the entire shot clear or do you want a narrow field of focus?  Let me illustrate.

The picture on the right shows a narrow depth of field. Only the front hydrangea is in focus. The bride-to-be is softly out of focus. So the f-stop or aperture is narrow. f/1.4

In the second shot, the lovely bride-to-be is all in focus. This shows a much deeper amount of focus in the shot. Think of this shot with a large f-stop.  f/22.

The reason I told you the extremes is the way I remember what the f-stops do.

Think of f/1.4 as 1.4 inches of depth of field. That's not very "deep" and not much will be in focus. 
Think of f/22 as 22 inches of depth of field. That's very deep and most of your shot will be fairly clear. 

So on to the next part of aperture values. 

2) How much light it lets in.  This is where things get a tad tricky and why we're only looking at apertures today.

Not only does it determine the depth of field, but also how much light comes in.  

How it lets light in is determined by how big or little the f/stop number is because they correspond to how big your shutter opening is. I'm not going into more detail about that right now. Just know that the Av, f-stop, f/1.4 to f/22 are different names for the same things. 

Let's go back to our numbers.

Apertures typically run: f/1.4, f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.5, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22

So what does that mean? f/1.4 lets in the most light on the f-stop scale
                                    f/22 lets in the least amount of light on the scale

You can handhold a camera and take shots in the lower range like f/1.4. 
But not at f/22. You'll need a tripod. 

Why? Because you have to let in more light which means the shutter has to be open longer. 

Here's an example of why you may want to learn how to manually control your camera. You can't take a shot like this without learning how.

You can't get this with a point and shoot camera or setting. 

In order to get the milky effect of the water, you have to have the shutter open (time value, another post) for part of a second or more, depending on the lighting. 

This shot was taken at f/22 for about 3/4 of a second. On a tripod. 

f/22 insured that most of the photo was in focus, and allowed the camera enough time to to capture the individual drops of water actually falling, making them milky white and soft. 

So, what does this mean for you? 

Pick up your camera and play with it. Set the camera on Av if you have that setting and take shots right where you are. Around the house is fine. EXPERIMENT! 

I'm sure you'll have more questions once you do. But it will help you learn this material. And, as I continue to guide you through the dial, the pieces will start falling together. 

Again, if you have photos you'd like me to glance at, leave me a link. 

And if you have a question, feel free to leave it for me. 

Of the two engagement shots, which one do you like better and why?

Hope this tip helps! 

Keep on clicking!



Wordless Wednesday - Icy Flowers

In honor of those 
who still have snow, 
here's a little hope. 

Flowers of pink
and flowers who think
that yellow steals the show!

So when you see your world so white,
cast a glance or two
and maybe beneath the layers of ice,
bright colors will meet you!

Black and white versions...

                             Thanks for dropping by! Happy WW!


Monday's Musings - Seasons of Life Pt. 2

Monday's Musings - Seasons of Life Pt. 2

In my last Monday's Musings post, I wrote about the Seasons of Life. While there is an overall understanding of the seasons of life with respect to age, I think that looking at seasons in life that has nothing to do with age is particularly useful.

For as you already know, we can go through different seasons over and over in life.   

Winter seems to happen off and on for most of us. It can feel tiresome, dreary and weary. Winter is when we are in a season of hardship or struggle. Life can appear bleak. Tiring. We may have a huge struggle or maybe life has just worn us down. Joy may be harder to find. Sometimes, we just want to give up.

But here's the thing about winter. It does end. 

And it's always followed by spring. Every time. 

For you see, while we may think God has given us more than we can bear, he knows what's best.

Can we really go through life with no pain or suffering? No heartache? No physical issues? No health issues? 

If we stop and think about it, the answer is "no". 

But we want a life free of pain. At least I do.

God never promised us a perfect life. 

But he did promise to be with us, during the winters of our lives. 

And at some point, if we're looking for it, we'll see the color of life seeping into our black and white lives. 

We'll see the fog lifting and the sun beginning to shine through. 

We can start to notice the flowers beginning to bloom, even with the barren trees in full view. 

This is when God releases us from the hardship and gives us hope that life moves on. That we will have a time of rest. 

It's a wonderful time.

It doesn't mean we'll never struggle again. It just means God is faithfully walking with us. And that he sees fit to give us a breather. 

To put what we learned in the winter into practice in our everyday lives. 

To enjoy the sun. And the bright flowers. And the beautiful blue sky. 

Recently, God gave us a huge breather. While my father-in-law is still terminal, he's surprised all the doctors and hospice nurses and is getting stronger! He's outlived their predictions by three months so far and counting! He even had to be re-evaluated to stay in the hospice program! 

We know the end is still coming, but what a gift! More time to enjoy his company and hear about what he's thankful for. How he appreciates how God has blessed him. 

I can say I'm thankful for the breather. 

How about you? What season of life are you in? What have you learned from it that you can share with others? 

I'd love to hear from you! 

And if you have a post somewhere on the topic you'd like me to read, please leave it below and I'll stop by! 


Photo Tip Friday - What's that dial for? Pt. 1

Starting today, I'm going to explain what those letters and symbols on your camera dial mean. I won't do them all at once in detail. But I'll give you a quick overview today and then go into more detail in subsequent posts on how to use them.

So, let's get started.

Here's the dial on my Canon. Your symbols should be similar.

I'm going to list the "words" and what they mean first.

The symbols come in another post.

A-DEP : (I'm skipping this one for now)

M         : Manual            
Av        : Aperture Value
Tv        : Time Value
P          : Program mode
A+       : Automatic

Now for more detail.

M: Manual allows you to control all the variables of Aperture, ISO, and Time Value.

Av: Aperture allows you to control the depth of field and how much light is allowed in.

Tv : Time value allows you to determine how fast you want the shutter go.

P :  Program mode allows you to control the ISO or "speed" of the film.

A+ : Automatic is just that. It takes the picture automatically for you.

Ready for a little more?

Aperture is what controls your depth of field. The depth of field is how much of the photo is clear. That is, how "deep" the focus is.  Apertures run from f/2.8 or so to f/22. The smaller the number, say f/2.8, means that the depth of field is shallow. But it lets in more light.  The larger the number, say f/22 means you'll have a deeper amount of what's in focus. But it doesn't let in as much light.

Time value is how fast the shutter speed is. It ranges from several seconds to 1/250 of a second and faster. The brighter the room or subject, the faster you need to take the shot. Leaving the shutter open for 2 seconds on a bright day will completely white out the entire shot. Two seconds would be for a dark place and a tripod. But if you're shooting outdoors on a sunny day, then you want the shutter speed to be faster, like 1/250 th of a second.

ISO is how fast the speed of the "film" is. Remember when you had to choose your ISO for your roll of film? Well, you still have to remember what you learned. But here's the cheat sheet. ISO runs from a  100 (think bright sunny day) to upwards of 6400 (think a candle, low light settings.) The slower the speed of the film, 100 ISO, the more light you need. So a sunny day and actually most shots can be taken with 100 ISO. But if you need the speed of the film to be faster for darker conditions, then use 1600 or higher.

Once you understand about aperture, time value and ISO values, then you can go to manual and start playing around with it.

I think that may be enough for today. Next week I'll show you some examples of what the different components do.

Feel free to ask me questions. It takes a while to learn all this.

If you have a question, just leave it in the comment section. And if you leave your web address, I'll be happy to pop over to your site.And is there anything else you'd like to learn? Just let me know!

Hope this tip helps!

Keep on clicking!



Wordless Wednesday - Spring has Begun!

Okay, so I LOVE flowers! Enjoy!

Thanks for dropping by!

Hope you have a great Wordless Wednesday!


Monday's Musings - Seasons of Life - Pt. 1

Monday's Musings - Seasons of Life - Pt. 1

I love a change of seasons. I really do.

I lived in south Florida for years. I missed spring, fall and winter. Technically, Florida may have four "seasons", but when you can wear shorts 360 days a year, the seasonal changes are too subtle. At least  for me.

Now that I live in SC, I just love the four seasons. Each has its own distinct flavor. And they're about equal to each other in length where I live. But by the time one season gets a tad old, the next one peeps its head around the corner, promising change. I love that, too!

Spring shows up here on shoots of green with yellow flowers bursting into our brown world. I love all the colors of spring. Yellows, pinks, purples, whites and various greens. Including pollen green. Okay, so I don't like that color much.

Then summer enters quickly with deeper greens, reds and oranges. Along with high temperatures and bugs. Gotta love the south! We women don't sweat here. We glisten!!

When we think we can't take much more humid heat, the nights start cooling off and the leaves change to their autumn collection.  Browns, reds, yellows, orange... Once the temperatures cool down, we venture outside a lot more.

Then comes winter. Winters here aren't too hard. It's never really cold for more than a few days. (Although I would love  more cold!) People may laugh that 3 inches of snow shuts our city down, but we just don't have the equipment on hand to clear roads. Plus, you need more than one snow day a year to learn how to drive safely in the snow. So, it snows, things shut down. But then the snow is already disappearing by the next day and we're right back to life. Sigh. I could use a good snow day about now!

So, what can the seasons teach us? Well, the obvious comparison is that spring is like being born and enjoying our childhood. Lots of new experiences, excitement at every turn. Delight in all the changes.

Then, summer compares to our years when we find a career and have a family. We love to get out and play. Experience fun times together. Life still seems to hold all kinds of opportunities. The possibilities may still seem endless.

But eventually, fall sets in. We find ourselves in mid life. Health issues may crop up. Our parents age more than we'd like. We find ourselves getting tired more easily. How hard life has been up to this point may wear on us more than we want.

Finally, we enter our "golden years". Most of our parenting is done. We may have grandkids. If we've saved well, we can retire and travel or spend more time together with people we love. But we may definitely slow down.

Is this all there is to life? No. While the analogy fits, I believe that we can look at the seasons very differently and take strength from what they can teach us. Through out our lives, the season are constantly changing. And that can help us learn how to weather the storms and keep persevering as the bible says.

While I may be in the fall and in "mid life", I'm excited about the future. There are career possibilities opening up for me I never dreamed of. They are ministries opening up I never thought about. I may be slowing down a bit, but that's making me rather intentional in what I spend my time and energy on.

So come back next week for part 2. We'll look at how we sometimes feel stuck in one season. But there are some wonderful lessons to be learned while hanging out in the dreariness of winter. Or in the heat of summer. You know, the times in life where we want relief.

But for now, which season are you in?

Thanks for dropping by!