The exposure triangle, metering & aperture demystified

Week one and I eagerly devoured all the tutorials on the exposure triangle, metering, apertures and anything else on the website that seemed pertinent.  Armed with all my new information I strode boldly forth to begin my homework.  Well folks, let me tell you that taking photographs in manual mode while combining all the elements put forth in this first class was a little like riding a psychotic horse from a burning stable – so much to try to control whilst hanging on for dear life with whitened knuckles!

Eventually I calmed down and everything started to come together and I began to feel more in control than I have ever felt before.  I am astonished at the sharpness of the landscape image particularly because I wasn’t focusing on My Dear One and our dog Ruby in the foreground (which I would have done before) but rather somewhere in the middle ground.  Metering is a whole lot easier and more accurate too, now that I know what to meter off of to get correct exposure and override my camera if necessary.

Another surprise was the “near/far concept”, the knowledge that the closer I am to my subject in the foreground, the greater the influence on the depth of field behind my subject will be, making the depth of field lower/shallower, even shooting on a tiny aperture like F18!

Here are my homework photographs:

First up, the “Storytelling” Aperture where I needed distance and everything in the image in focus – foreground, middle and background.

Storytelling Aperture 1/60 s, f/16.0, ISO 400

Next is the “Singular Theme” Aperture where sharpness is intentionally limited to a single subject or area, leaving all other objects in the frame out of focus.

Singular Theme Aperture 1/125s, f/2.2, ISO 100

Now look at the photo below, amazingly, it is shot with the exact same setting as the one above but look how much higher/deeper the depth of field is now that I have moved away from the subject, the near/far concept at play.

1/125 s, f/2.2, ISO 100

The last image is from the “Who cares?”Aperture group where everything is on the same plane and depth of field is not a concern.  Once again roping My Dear One in to be a model, what can I say? I have a shortage of models!

"Who cares?" Aperture 1/100 s, f/8.0, ISO 200

Stay tuned for next week, where we cover ISO and Shutter Speed.

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