Friday, April 9, 2010

Aperture and Shutter Speed: (Mostly) Still Quite a Mystery to Me

What I learned in my Digital Photography Class, Part 9

I learned a bit about aperture and shutter speed back when I was teaching myself film photography from a book, many years ago. I can tell you this much--the aperture refers to the size of the opening of the diaphragm that lets in the light, and the shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open. I can't say that I learned much more on the subject during our all-too-brief course in digital photography.

If I truly understood the relationship between aperture and shutter speed, I could go on. However, in all honesty, I don't understand the subject well enough to explain it to anyone else. I can only recommend that you do the following.

First of all, go to Pioneer Woman Photography, where you will find some of the clearest explanations I have ever read, complete with plenty of photographic examples. Read What the Heck is an Aperture?, found in the Exposure Archives and in the What the Heck? Basic Photography Archives. I've discovered that I can read a bit of Ree's explanations, then go off and try a bit of application, then come back later and repeat the process. In doing so, I learn almost more than I was able to take in from my entire Digital Photography class.

Sit down with your camera and play with the settings. Take lots and lots of shots, changing the variables (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and look at your results. Then, perhaps, you can explain the subject to me.


Powell River Books said...

I can't even understand my point and click camera. I'm hopeless. - Margy

Kate said...

I think that practicing is so important, but also frustrating! Thanks for the reading recommendations.

Judy said...

Thanks, I am not very good with a camera. I read and reread my instructions and once in a while I am able to get something in my mind that is clear and I remember. My son is so good with this stuff but I think he gave up on his mother a long time ago. lol. Have a good week.