Lesson 4 – Aperture

Life Through a Lens

This week we are addressing aperture, the second of the three facets which make up the ‘triangle’ of photography. Aperture is a measurement of  the amount the blades inside your lens open up to allow light to enter, and is measured in f stops. The wider an aperture, the more light is allowed in, and vice versa. This means that to compensate for a wider aperture (which will be measured by a low f stop, such as f1.8) a faster shutter speed is required to compensate and the same is true in reverse.

Aperture also controls the amount of area in focus, or the depth of field. A wider aperture, (e.g. 2.2) will give a shallow depth of field and a wider area that is out of focus in the foreground and background, otherwise known as bokeh. A smaller aperture (measured in larger numbers such as f22) will give you a much broader area of focus.

This week during the class exercise I was not feeling particularly inspired. I only had a prime lens with me having left my wide angle and telephoto lenses at home. On top of this it was pelting down with rain again and for whatever reason I was feeling unusually self conscious when going out to the city to shoot, so I let myself off the hook for once with the intent to complete the exercises later. Despite being last minute, I enjoyed the shoot I created today, and am myself partial to a wide aperture and a shallow depth of field.

Here is a link to an article with great explanations behind of the nitty gritty and mathematics behind aperture as well as other juicy details.




Lesson 2 – Black & White Composition

Life Through a Lens


Lesson two of ‘Life Through a Lens’ was my first lesson in attendance. We were given an hour to go out into the city and photograph examples of the five ‘rules’ of photographic composition with our cameras set to black and white. We were also to photograph some examples of breaking these rules. The five rules of composition were: the rule of thirds, leading lines, negative space, symmetry, and framing. I found it quite challenging to be wandering alone around an unfamiliar city, feeling quite conspicuous taking photos of everything. That said, I managed to take over 200 shots and was quite pleased with my final selection, which I think ended up being an interesting variety of subject and style.