Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Aperture, Appetising Food and All About Me

Several of you have said that you're interested in playing along with the free All About Me project, hooray - I'm so excited! :-) I shall post further details of how I see this working (and an official sign-up MckLinky) on Friday afternoon, so look out for that; if you missed the initial post about this then take a look here to get an idea of what on earth I'm talking about!!

In response to the comments about the food photos I've been posting: firstly, yes I am in control of which food I choose to photograph on a particular day.... In theory it's quite possible that I spend the rest of the day eating crisps and chocolate! ;-) But actually, I've found that taking and sharing these photos has made me think more about what I'm eating, and I've made a conscious decision to be more adventurous and pick more interesting meals. It's helped me to get out of a bit of a food rut, which is good! And in fact, quite apart from this project, I have been eating more healthily this year. With the exception of a few vegetable crisps on Saturday I haven't eaten crisps in over 3 months now. I haven't had chocolate for a couple of weeks either, and I was finding it easier to make treats like that last when I did have them. I'm eating a lot less cake and fewer biscuits. When we have pizza I have a smaller portion with a side salad; when we get a takeaway I eat half of it one day and half the next. I'm not saying this to be all boastful and smug, believe me!! It's more to mark a moment in time where these things are true, as I'm sure at some point the treats will creep back into my diet. But for now, while I'm not really missing them, I'm eating more healthy options and that is a good thing - hope it lasts!

And now for aperture, the subject of the first lesson of 12 Weeks to Better Photos. I was a bit disappointed to discover that my camera isn't as good as I thought it was :-( The lesson notes suggest that the aperture settings are likely to range from about f/1.2 to f/22, but mine only go from f/2.8 to f/8. Still, I had a go at the challenge, photographing the same scene with different apertures, and here's what I got:


This is with the lowest setting, f/2.8 (ie largest possible aperture). The foreground is in focus but the flowers nearer the back are starting to get blurry.


Now the aperture setting is f/4.5, so medium for my camera. The flowers further back are more in focus this time.


Finally I tried the smallest aperture my camera could manage, f/8. I'm not sure how much difference I can see between f/4.5 and f/8, to be honest - I'm going to try this same assignment with some different subjects and see if I can discern more of a difference then! It's a start, though - perhaps I can have a go with f/2.8 for close-ups sometimes instead of sticking with Auto and pressing the button for Macro. (I noticed that the people from the first shot had vanished in the other two, but I don't *think* that was because of my aperture settings.....)

Oh, and this link should take you to a page where you can access all 12 different lessons :-)

13 comments:

Cheri said...

Mel - shall be looking forward to Friday's post on All About Me. And thanks for the link on the photography lessons - I've bookmarked that to come back to later. I do see a subtle difference in your three photos, but really you need to be looking at the trees in the way back to see it. Blurry in the first photo and progressively more in focus in each subsequent photo.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Hi Mel,
Good job on working through the lesson. I just signed up for Get out of Auto Mode at BPS,as well as All About Me. Looking forward to the post on Friday.
Rinda

Photographing Mom said...

Definitely joining in with All About Me!

And yeah...my camera only goes to f/8, too. But...until I save up a bit more money, it'll have to do.

Gemma* said...

the pics wouldn't be taken near hereford cathedral by any chance? I have a similar pic here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smilegemz/4440569567/

my camera is F2.8 to 8.0 as well, it's a lumix FZ38 and I'm still learning, thanks for the links :D

scrappyjacky said...

My camera is the same...probably we need much higher spec cameras to get better aperture differences......but that class does sound very interesting.

mise said...

Interesting. You've introduced me to the chasm that is my knowledge of aperture. I must better myself if all you lot are out there bettering yourselves (bless you).

Enjoy the Ride said...

Thanks so much for the links - I actually downloaded all of the PDF files for future. Wish I could participate in the All About Me... I'm still considering it... I just feel so overwhelmed right now. You might see me bop on and sign up for it on Friday. Great photos, BTW! You made me LOL about the people disappearing and how you didn't *think* it was your camera! :)

Ruth said...

I'm tempted by All About Me, but think it may be too close to my on-going Book Of Me. Plus, I never seem to have enough time lately. I'll look again after Friday's post.

helena said...

downlaoded all about me and started thinking about the categories - should be lots of fun. Thanks for being the catalyst

Amy said...

Mel does your camera have a portrait setting? Sometimes you notice more of a difference on those settings - my dSLR regular lens only goes to 2.8 but then through to 22 so I have a more noticable range. The photos of the flower bed are beautiful and they look sharp and crisp which is always the first thing to aim for - in my opinion. There is blurring in the back trees and where the couple are walking past.

So glad you are making healthy choices in the food department - I started the year well but have not been consistent .... changes need to come!

Karen said...

Beautiful flowers! And thanks for the link to all 12 lessons. I poked around 2Peas for a few minutes yesterday, but didn't find them. It was on my to do list for the weekend.

Heather said...

Hi Mel! I'm looking forward to All About Me but slightly concerned that I dont have a similar tin or container to put it in!! I could make it into a book I suppose but what will you be using? :)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I'll be looking for Friday;s post. The current lens on my camera goes from f1.8 to f22, the standard lens I also use is f4.4 to f29. That was one off the reasons I went to a DSLR, that shutter response time