For the Light of Aperture

For the Light of Aperture

Aperture, what is it and why is it important? I’m sure you have heard photographers say, “Lighting is everything in a picture.” This is true, the lighting can give your picture a whole new feel. A photographer has control of everything when it comes to the setting in their camera, do you? Probably not if you are shooting in Auto, try shooting in Manual this will give you the control you are probably looking for, if you’re looking for it. There are settings in your camera that you want to have control over when setting up your shot. Here are some things that you can try to help your lighting and focus, this is simply going to give you more control over what your camera “sees.” This setting is part of the Exposure Triangle which I have talked about in a previous article.

 Aperture Settings

Aperture, or also referred to as f-stop, is how much light you are, or are not letting into your camera’s sensor. Settings for aperture range from like f/1.8 to like f/22, something to keep in mind and it’s going to sound crazy, but the smaller the f-stop the more light you are letting in. If you hear a photographer say its wide open, it means that the aperture setting is low, like at an f-stop of 1.8 or so, it will also depend on the lens they are using for how large of an aperture they can get. The wide aperture of low f-stop is letting in a lot of light, which gives photographers that ability to freeze the action within the frame, most commonly used in sports. A closed aperture, or larger f-stop is not letting in as much light but lets you capture some movement in your picture.

 

Your aperture setting does not just affect the amount of light that your camera’s sensor is seeing, but also the depth of field. Chris Corradino, a writer for digital photography school, says, “The greater the f-stop number, the greater the depth of field.” The depth of field defines what is in focus and what is not. The larger the aperture you have the ‘shallower’ depth of field you are going to have, and the smaller the f-stop will allow you to have more things in focus in your photo.

 Background Focus Foreground Focus

Deciding what to focus on in your picture is going to tell the viewer where to look. Say you drive by a beautiful landscape that you want to have all in focus, you are going to want to use a closed aperture. Set up your framing, from here see what’s in your frame and focus on something that is one third of the way up from the bottom of your picture, this way the foreground and background are in focus. That action shot you want of your son or daughter playing a sport or just running around the backyard, using a wide aperture will allow you to freeze them in time for a lasting memory.

 

Play around with the aperture setting in your camera, then share it with me here in the comments or on our Facebook or Instagram page. I’d love to see what you go and capture.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote or photography lessons today!

 

Looking for Who?

Looking for Who?

We are all looking for someone or something, sometimes we know what it is and other times we don’t. People tell me all the time that they are looking to do video. That’s great everyone should be looking or already working on a video for their website and social media pages. In my experience the first thing I hear is, “I want video, but I don’t know what to do in the video or what I want to say.” All are important things to think about, but what about the videographer that is going to be working with you?

The production company, videographer, or camera operator might not seem like an important part of making your video, but they are vital to the success of your video. Here’s why, my guess (and I’m only guessing here):

  • You’re nervous about remembering your script or trying to read it.
  • You’re not comfortable in front of a camera, after all most of us are not seasoned actors or actresses.
  • Is this video going to show the “real” you and what your brand is?

These are all things that most people are concerned about when they start looking for a production company to shoot their video.

No matter, if the people that are talking to me about video choose to go with me, I tell them make sure you are comfortable with who ever you hire. Being comfortable with the person that is going to be working on the post side of your video is important. Have a few meetings with them, the first time is to get to know each other and most likely start getting your script and video ideas down on paper, after this initial meeting where you made sure the video has your vision in it, it is time to start shooting. If you are someone who does not like public speaking doing a video is going to be a little tougher. Let your videographer know, because they should be able to help you relax and calm your nerves, just like a duck on water.

Things to look for in your videographer:

  1. Timely: arriving on time for meetings and early to set up if you are not going to their studio.
  2. Energetic: you’re going to be nervous and scared when you first start. Having someone who is upbeat, making you laugh and smile will really help you feel better and more confident in what you are saying and the way you are acting.
  3. Video Look: I know this one seems a little funny to be looking for, but it is important. Ask for samples of their work, chances are your video is going to look similar to the samples. This is because all editor’s have a style, if you don’t like the samples they send you probably won’t like the video they do for you.
  4. Professional: this is a big one, because you want your video to look, feel, and BE professional, so it is important that your videographer is professional, but still making you feel comfortable.

 

Do you have a video up on your website yet? If not what is holding you back from getting one? Let me know what your thoughts are on video in the comments below.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!

Triangle of Exposure

Triangle of Exposure

Photographers hear all the time, “your pictures come out so well. What camera do you use?” Yes the equipment that photographers use is important, but only for the fact that they need it in order to be in their line of work. If a photographer did not have a camera, it would be pretty hard for him or her to be the picture taker. A photographer spends time with their camera when they first get it. Learning everything they can about it, like where the buttons are for the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, a long with many other settings that they will need to know how to get to like the back of their hand.

The big thing that many people don’t realize is how important ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is for a picture. Each one affects the other two, just like if you change a side on a triangle, the other sides are adjusted as well. Thus giving you, the exposure triangle.

Here are the three elements to the Triangle of Exposure are:

  1. ISO – the measure of sensitivity to light (graininess)
  2. Shutter Speed – the amount of time that the shutter is open (motion)
  3. Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when taking a picture (depth of field)

 Triangle of Exposure

A good way to think of each one is by creating a metaphor for yourself. I like to think of ISO as sunglasses, this is due to the fact that when you lower your camera’s ISO it makes your camera read a neutral or darker light. Just like when you put sunglasses on when your outside, your are taking away the brightness of the sun, ISO does the same thing for light in your picture.

I use a metaphor that includes shutter speed and aperture together. I read this metaphor on Digital Photography School’s website. (Yes I still need reminders sometimes on what everything is). Think of a window with shutters, the window represents the aperture. Depending on how big your window is, that’s the size of the opening in your lens. The larger the window, the larger the opening, and the more light gets in. The shutters are your shutter speed. If you open and close your shutters quickly less light is going to get through. When you have your shutter speed set to be open longer, you will get more light and a brighter picture.

Lighting will always affect all three elements in the triangle of exposure. Now you know what each one does and a metaphor to go along with it. Here is an example, you set your ISO to 12800 and the aperture to ƒ3.5, your shutter speed will need to be lower so that your picture is not blown out. The best part now is that you’re probably using a digital camera, which means that you can practice without worrying about the cost of developing pictures. Many cameras now give you an option to put one of the elements into auto while you adjust the other two, by doing this you will get a chance to slowly ease your self into shooting full manual versus full auto.

Another thing to note about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed is that they also affect other elements. ISO affects the graininess of your image, Shutter speed affects motion that is captured, and aperture affects depth of field. I will talk about each of these in another post.

 

I’d love to see what pictures you take with your new knowledge of shooting in manual mode. Share your pictures in the comments below or on Facebook or Google+.

 

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at tonya.moken@TLMproductions.com for a project quote today!