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Photography Question 
Jeff 
 

Shutter Speeds and Apertures


I am a young keen person who wants to learn more about photography and taking good photos. My question is, can I get a general idea on what kind of aperture settings I need for what kind of photos and what shutter speeds I need to use with it?

I know aperture lets in a certain amount of light but I'm really not sure how to set one in a certain situation.


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1/2/2004 3:26:41 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Jeff,
In addition to letting in light, your aperture setting determines your depth of field,... or how much of what you are shooting will be in focus. The higher the f-stop number... the more depth of field you will have.

As a rule, the lower the aperature number (f-stop), the less light is needed for exposure. Hence, the wider f-stops (lower numbers) require a faster shutter speed than when the lens is stopped down (higher numbers).

As an example, let's say that your in-camera meter calls for an exposure of f-8 at 1/60 second. Each change in aperature setting must be met with a corosponding change in the shutter speed to maintain proper exposure. F-11 becomes 1/30 second, f-16 becomes 1/15... etc.
With that knowledge in mind, you should choose your aperture and/or shutter speed to suit the situation you are are faced with. A faster shutter speed might be needed to freeze action, so you would require a wide aperature (low f-stop number). Conversely, when shooting a landscape, you want as much in focus as possible from the foreground to infinity, so you would choose a higher aperture number (f-22 for example), and a slower shutter speed.
Once you've determined what f-stop the scene requires, you can usually trust your in-camera meter to guide you toward the corresponding shutter speed, (and vice-versa).

You should also try shooting the same scene using different settings and compare the results.

Hope this helps.


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1/2/2004 2:39:04 PM

 
Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003
imagismphotos.com
  Jeff,
If you're interested in learning more about photography basics I would highly recommend taking a beginning photography course such as those offered on this site. A good analogy for aperture/shutter speed is to compare light with water. To get a proper exposure you need a certain amount of water(light). Your aperture is the hose diameter, and your shutter speed is the faucet. To get the proper amount of water you can either use a small diameter hose and leave the faucet on longer, or you can use a larger diameter hose and turn the faucet off sooner. This is simplistic, but a good example of the relationship. Hope this is helpful.
God Bless,
Greg


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1/5/2004 7:51:30 AM

 
David T. Burke   Jeff,
I recommend taking Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure course through this website. He covers EVERYTHING for basic exposure. I learned a great deal from his course.


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1/5/2004 1:54:04 PM

 
Buddy Purugganan   First---you gotta inform us if you use either a manual or autofocus camera. Or if you are a digital user. One good book/magazine I highly recommend is The Big Book of Photography (FROM Photographic magazine). Its very educational---my friends even borrowed it from me! Enjoy your new cam and try the contests you see here!


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1/6/2004 1:09:18 AM

 
Tom Walker   It might help to know that f stops are the reciprical of the relationship of the lens opening to the focal length of the lens,ie: 50mm lens f2, the opening is 1/2 the length or 25mm, f4 is 1/4 the length or 12.5mm, f8 is 1/8, f16 is 1/16, etc,etc


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3/13/2004 5:48:30 PM

 
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