Where to Start When Learning Photography ... Join us for Beginners Basics Every Monday

Wow!  I can't believe this is Week 9 .... where on earth did that time go?

Hello and welcome to old and new followers.
Remember if you want to catch up on what we've been doing for the last 8 weeks the blogs are still online and the first one was 10th September.

Newbies may be asking which camera is best for beginners?

Take a look back at week 2
What I want you all to understand here is there's absolutely no need to go out spending a fortune on cameras and equipment.  Most of the time it's not the camera it's the way you use it and how you see an image that's important.

The big 3

Tee hee😜, I don't mean a large number 3 :)  I mean there are 3 important things to learn when you are switching from Auto to Manual.


However, we are eating that elephant one bite at a time!
Last week we talked about ISO and I wonder how you all got on?
I'd love to know ❓

This week ..... Learning how to use Aperture in Semi Auto Mode

This is the A on your dial.  Turning the dial to A means you are using Aperture Priority.  

You'll be setting your ISO and your aperture and the camera will be taking care of everything else.

Listen up!  I'm going to keep this as simple as I can

Keeping it simple is how I work and I how learn.

Firstly what is Aperture?   Known as 'f stops' ? 😏

The larger the diameter of the aperture the more light you pass through your lens and the lower the f stop number.

AND the smaller the diameter of the aperture the less light can pass through your lens and the higher the f stop number.

This is where, when I began learning photography, I just couldn't get my head round the small numbers equalling the large aperture?  

So I hope the diagram below helps you understand this.  It's a rough diagram done by me but it helped me to understand so hopefully it'll work for you.

I'll let you into a secret.  

When I began wedding photography I used Aperture priority always.  Weddings are fast moving, there's not much time for sorting settings on camera.  Setting the ISO and the Aperture worked really well for me ..... well that was until I'd done about 50 weddings then I went to manual settings for a little more creativity.:)

However, as you can see from one of my early weddings, Aperture priority does a pretty good job.

It not only controls the amount of light you let in to your camera but it allows you to create images with beautiful soft backgrounds.

Large aperture, shallow depth of field and focus on the shell
The image above was taken with my Nikon SLR with a 28mm lens -

I set a large aperture of f/4, to give a shallow depth of field. 

As it was early evening I chose ISO400, pointing into the sun so that the sun shone through the shell.

Focusing on the shell meant that everything behind became soft blur.
Small aperture and large depth of field keeping everything sharp
The above image of the New Forest was taken with an Aperture of f/11 for a shallow depth.

You need to play around with this and have some fun.  I still love experimenting.

Even with your phone camera you can experiment with depth of field by tapping on the screen where you want to focus.

iPhone image tapping on screen for focus point

By the way in case you may be wondering.......😏
WB = white balance - which we can cover much further down the line. 
I mostly keep mine on auto.  It usually does a pretty good job.

I think it may be an idea to stick on Aperture for a couple of weeks until we've got the hang of it.

Remember to let me know how you get on.  Either email me or leave a comment below.


“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
— Ralph Hattersley

Have a great week everyone.  Whatever you do don't get hung up with the techy stuff - just go out and enjoy and take pictures of what you love......and never miss a moment.

Jan x