This video will hand hold you in becoming a Wildlife Photographer! In this video, you will learn the key to take a sharp image and a perfect shot!
How to start wildlife photography?
3Pillars of wildlife photography?
I am going to explain you the 3 Pillars of Wildlife Photography – ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed.
Do you face any of these issues? then this video will fix these for you.
My photos are not creative!
My photos are not sharp!
My photos are blurred!
My photos are noisy / grainy!
My photos are dark!
My photos are washed out!
My photos are not looking good!
My photos does not look like lively!
My photos are boring!
My photos lack that wow factor!
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Hello everyone. Welcome back to wild photography.
This is the second video within the topic “3 pillars of photography” and in this video lesson we are going to learn about what is Aperture?
Prerequisite Learning 3 Pillars of Photography
There are few prerequisites videos. They are:
- How to start wildlife photography
- The introduction to the three pillars of photography
I would recommend that you complete these two video lessons, before you watch this one. I’ve given the links to both of this video lessons on the description of this video.
What is Aperture?
To explain it in a very simple way, the aperture refers to the opening of a lens’s diaphragm. In the image you can see the diaphragm kind of wings and there is a small hole over there. The diaphragm can close or open and then it let light inside your sensor, so aperture is referring to the opening of the lens diaphragm.
3 KEY NUANCES OF APERTURE
There are 3 key nuances of Aperture:
- F value or F stop
- Depth of field
- Opening of lens
These nomenclatures and a terms are very very important to understand the nuances of aperture.
F value or F stop
You would have heard about 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 32 and it goes on, normally we called it as F 1.4 F 2, you’d have also seen this in the specification of a lense, so this is called as F value.
Depth of field
It could be a shallow or deep. To explain depth of field you need to consider the point where you’re focusing your camera towards as a wall that becomes your plane of focus and depth of field, means from that wall how much behind and how much front to that wall is in focus, so that becomes an area of focus. If the depth of field is shallow that means that area of focus is very less and if it is deeper means that area focuses much longer. If you don’t understand it at this point of time don’t worry, I have few specific examples with some illustration which will make it very very clear for you.
Opening of lens
We called it as shoot with wide open or shoot it narrow. That means the diaphragm is at the fully retracted position, that means it is taking them maximum light position. Narrow means you’re actually closing the diaphragm so, when someone says shoot wide open that means you need to let diaphragm in the retracted position and take them maximum light to sensor.
When we say wide open that means you are shooting your lense at the lowest possible F value. That means if you’re shooting at F 4 you are shooting that lens wide open.But if a lense has a capability of 2.8 then shooting a 2.8 means wide open.
F STOP ILLUSTRATION
Now look at this image F 1.4 the diaphragm is completely retracted it’s letting in the maximum light and absolutely opposite to that F 16. You can see the diaphragm is closed, letting in very lesser amount of light, so this is the difference of each level of F 1.4, 2, 2.8 as your F value increases.
The amount of light which comes into your sensor goes down, this is one of the very important point over here.
Now with the same thing when your F value increases your depth of field increases. The typical scenario when 10 of your friends you’re taking their image assume there is a wall and all 10 of your friends are leaning on the wall, in that case you don’t need much depth of field. You can use your lowest possible F value and you’ll be able to take all of them in focus because everyone standing in a same line.
Now same your 10 friends are walking as a group towards you in multiple lanes like two people in the front then another four people at the back in that case you need more depth of field, now the same scenario you can compare it with a single tiger walking towards you or there are three tigers walking one behind the other towards you. On the first scenario only one tiger you can shoot it with a lower depth of field but in case of three tigers walking one behind another, if you want to take all three of them in focused then you need to have a higher depth of field so this is the difference. Now as I said if you increase your F value your depth of field increases and the last one wide open when you are shooting at the lowest possible F value then that means you’re shooting wide open.
DEPTH OF FIELD ILLUSTRATION
I’m going to give you a quick illustration of depth of field using an example, so this would make it absolutely clear for you so as you can see in this image.
There is a tree trunk and then you can see three tigers in a line one behind another and then you are seeing some trees behind those three tigers now you are here and I want to remind you on a tiger Safari you are not supposed to get down on the ground this is just for illustration don’t quote me somewhere that you can sit like this and shoot a tiger coming back to the topic,so If this is how you’re going to shoot this and you’re keeping your focus exactly on the eye of the first tiger this is what is called the plane of focus.
Now what happens you are shooting at F2.8 in that case.This is the area of focus so as I said the blue arrow whatever I am showing that is your plane of focus since it is F2.8 I am showing the depth of field and this grey area is actually called as area focused very important thing it will have a distribution front of your a plane of focus as well as back to your a plane of focus rest of all these areas to the front and back will be out of focus basically they are blurred and those areas which are blurred which is called the bokeh. Now the same example now you’re considering you are in the same position that the same subject 3 tigers a tree the trunk you are focusing on the same plane as well.
Now you’re shooting at f8 in that case your depth of field increases.Now you are able to take the second tiger as well into focus and little bit closer to your tree trunk still your tree trunk is out of focus and the rest of the areas goes out of focus.
Third illustration again the same set of subjects you are in the same position as well and you are focusing on the same place as well and you’re shooting at F-16 in that case you’ll be able to take all the three tigers into focus also in the front you are able to take the tree trunk into the focus as well the rest of the things goes out of focus. I’m sure it is clear to you now, let me restate some of the key things for you the blue arrows which I have showed you that is the place where you are actually focusing that is called the plane of focus and the gray ones I’m showing in F 2.8, F 8 and F 16 those the area of focus and also that illustrate the depth of field and the red area what I have shown all those are out of focus areas and as you can clearly see as you increase your F number you are increasing the depth of field. You can also intentionally play around with these things for example in the F-16 one your intention is to keep all the three tigers in focus that is the reason you are going for F-16 at the cost of light coming inside your camera you’re losing light because you’re pumped up your F number to 16 but what you gained this you’re keeping all the three tigers in focus, now if you’re keeping a composition in mind that you want only the first tiger should be in focus rest everything should get into a nice and clean bokeh then you should go towards F2.8.
This is how you can now play around with these settings to get the compositions what you prefer on the real case scenarios. one more important thing I want to explain you is the distance from the sensor in your camera to the point where you’re actually focusing this distance also impacts your area of focus so the closer you are to the subject.
The plane of focus will be exactly on the middle splitting your area of focus in to 50% and 50% as you are more and more far from your plane of focus that 50/50 ratio will get reduced in such a way that you get much lesser area in the front and more area in the back.
KEY TAKE -AWAYS
- Lowest possible F number in your lense means you are shooting wide open
- Highest F number also mean you are having less light entering your sensor
- Lowest F number and closer to the subject will get you a nice and creamy Bokeh closer to subject
- Focal plane will be at the middle to the overall area of focus.
So that’s it about Aperture. I’m sure you understood the nuances of it. If you still have any questions please leave me a note at the comment section. I would definitely get back to you with that answer.
So the rest of the videos from the series of the three pillars of wildlife photography will be shared with you soon.