Photography can be quite a challenge. One of the ones I think I figured out recently is the “f”.
Photography isn’t just taking pictures. It’s deciding how to take a picture that triggers emotions. Otherwise, it’s just a snapshot of a moment in time.
I was travelling through the countryside last week and came across an old drive-in movie theatre. It had obviously been abandoned for some time leaving me feeling sad and nostalgic. I wanted to share that feeling. I like to think the photo to the left achieved that.
In order for people to feel what I did, I needed to frame the scene so that the viewer could sense the passing of time and the nostalgia that I was felling. I tried a few different angles and decided on the one here.
To see other photos taken that day and get a sense of what it took to decide, click this link.
Now, photography and what the “f”?!
What the “f”?!
When talking about photography and I say what the “f”, i’m talking about the f-stop on my camera.
Now that I have chosen my lens and how to frame my shot, I need to decide how to set the f-stop or otherwise known as aperture. The aperture is the opening in the back of the lens that controls how much light gets through to the sensor on the camera. Now, I haven’t reached that stage yet where I set the f-stop manually on a regular basis. I usually set the ISO and let the camera do the rest. That was the case in the shot above.
Recently, I purchased a Pentax DA 50mm lens, f1.8. This means the “lowest” f-stop, or largest aperture is 1.8. Go figure, the lower the f-stop, the bigger the hole for the light to come through! What this means for me is that I can take pictures in lower light and/or take a shot that obscures the background more. In the photo to the right, I was able to take a handheld shot at my commuter train station at 5:30am, 1/15th sec, ISO 1600 without the assistance of flash by setting the camera manually to f1.8.
Lenses like this are often referred to as a “fast” lens because of the ability to use a much faster shutter speed. This is because of the extra alight allowed to reach the sensor by the larger opening (aperture).
So, to summarize, photography is the art of being to create (not just take) a photo that causes the viewer to feel something and that “f” I referred to, is what determines how much or little light you need and also how much detail is shown throughout the whole picture.
To see more photos, there are a few places you can follow along as I continue my learning journey:
- Guru Shots:
- If you own a Pentax, you can follow a group of us along at:
- Or you can follow my personally at:
I hope I haven’t confused you as much as I was!
Make it a great day,
P.S. What am I grateful for today? I’m grateful for Pentax, eBay and a patient wife. What are you grateful for today?