The third week of the workshop, we discussed aperture and its impact on a photo. Aperture simply put is the opening in which light can pass through. A larger aperture allows more light in and a smaller aperture limits the amount of light. The funky thing with aperture is that the actual numbering system is backwards. A large aperture is a small f-stop number and vice versa.
In addition to controlling the amount of light, aperture also controls the depth of field. A large aperture will give result in a shallow depth of field. This means that things behind and in front of your point of focus will be out of focus. A small aperture will give you a large depth of field. Large depth of field will allow for everything in your frame be sharp and in focus, relatively.
I LOVE working with shallow depths of field. I love being able to achieve that creamy blurred background. Now do not get me wrong, it can be over done or done completely wrong, but when it is right, it is oh so beautiful.
Now the secret is not in your camera or your photography skills, but in the lens itself. You have to have a lens that will allow you to open the aperture up really wide. Kit lenses (the one's that come with the camera) do not allow you to. You can cheat by doing two things. 1) Zoom in as far as you can. 2) Get really close to your subject and make sure the background is far enough away from your subject. I am lucky enough to be able to borrow lenses at my leisure from my boss. My standby is a fixed 50mm lens that enables me to go up to f/1.4. I use this lens on all of my baking photos and have started keeping on my camera at all times as it is a great all around lens as well.
The assignment was to play around with aperture by setting up your shot and taking it at multiple aperture settings. Styling food against a distracting background is something that I would not normally do, but it gave the best example of the purpose of the assignment.
|Chocolate Nutella Cupcakes. |
Photo by me!
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
I have to make a confession: I knew all this depth stuff before taking the class.