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Old 11th April, 2005, 07:57 PM
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danrok danrok is offline
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Join Date: March 2003
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Originally Posted by gizmo
So, can one of you guys put together a n00b's guide to photography, or suggest a good place for same? Like, what does changing the aperture do as opposed to adjusting the shutter speed? I've got a Canon AS70 that I'd like to do a bit more with.......
Quick explanation:

Aperture is like the pupil in your eye and it's size is represented by an f number, e.g. f2.8, smaller number = wider aperture. Just like your pupil, a wide aperture is needed in lower light and will also reduce the depth of field. A small depth of field will put the background out of focus. So, you might use a wide aperture in good light just for this effect. If you want everything in focus you may need to use a smaller aperture.

Shutter speed will determine how long the film/sensor is exposed to the light entering the aperture. So, if you are using a small aperture this can be compensated for by a longer shutter speed. But, the longer the shutter is open for the more likely you are to get camera shake. If taking shots of moving objects you'll need to use a fast speed in order for the moving object to appear sharp.

Really need to mention film speed, as well. Digital cameras do have a film speed setting even though there is no film. Fast film can be used in low light conditions, but has a grainy appearance. Slow film gives better definition but needs a longer exposure time.

These would be the 3 main 'controls' without considering the lens (wide/telephoto/filters, etc). Exactly how you work aperture and shutter will depend on the type of shot you are taking. You can use them in a creative way not just according to fixed rules.

The best way to learn, I think, is to learn one type of shot at a time and master it. Playing with depth of field is probably a good starting point and is very useful.
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Last edited by danrok; 11th April, 2005 at 09:14 PM.
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