New Canon 600D DSLR Camera – Week 2

Another depressing week in which the task was to take photographs with different ISO settings and compare the results. And I would have to use the fully manual mode. I decided it was time to get to grips with AV mode, one of the two semi-automatic settings on the camera, and at least understand what this could achieve.

This stands for ‘Aperture Value’, or the size of the aperture which allows light further into the camera. Counter-intuitively for me, a small number, f/4.5, f/5.6, is a large aperture which f/16, f/22 is a small aperture. (Helpful article on Wikipedia.)

Apertures (Wikipedia)

Apertures (Wikipedia)

The appropriate aperture value allows you to blur the background, or bring everything into focus, i.e. the aperture will control the depth of field, or the area which is in sharp focus. So, a low f/number brings the foreground into focus and blurs the background, and a high f/number allows for sharp focus deep into the ‘field’, or foreground and background. OK, got that, but what do I set for a half-decent photograph?! The rule-of-thumb, says Wikipedia, is Sunny 16, i.e. f/16 on a bright, sunny day with sharp shadows, and then change upwards for blinding sunshine and downwards for gloom.

f/4.5

f/4.5

f/11

f/11

And just for fun, the fir tree in the same churchyard had the most amazing cones.

f/5.6, 1/80th, ISO-400

f/5.6, 1/80th, ISO-400

The actual task for the Week 2 was to take photographs with different ISO settings. ISO settings? This concerns sensitivity to light and the higher the setting, the greater the ‘sensitivity’, resulting in a less clear (or more grainy image). But it isn’t quite so simple. The rule-of-thumb says ISO 100 will give crisp images in sunny conditions. If it is darker or there is less light you need more sensitivity and therefore a higher ISO setting, ISO 400-800 on a gloomy day. I realised I would have to use the Manual mode and set aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to achieve a picture – panic!

f/5.6, ISO 200

f/5.6, 1/100th, ISO-200

f/5.6, ISO 400

f/5.6, 1/100th, ISO-400

f/5.6, ISO 1600

f/5.6, 1/100th, ISO-1600

And even more obvious..

ISO-200

ISO-200

ISO-400

ISO-400

ISO-800

ISO-800

ISO-3200

ISO-3200

That was enough for me for one week – I press on!

You may be interested in
PhotoNotes – why as well as how; useful!
F-Stops – Wikipedia is both helpful and way above my head!
Understanding Aperture – a beginner’s guide – very helpful!
ISO Settings – helpful