Assignment #1 - Aperture


Assignment #1 : This week as you are playing with your manual settings I want you to line up some objects to practice on. You don't want to have to worry about movement yet (so don't do your kids or anything moving ). Pick three different apertures and see what that does to your photo. Hint: you will have to change the other settings to compensate for the wider aperture opening or smaller aperture opening.

You can see in my photos the smaller the number the more blur and less of the photo is in focus. So depending on what you are wanting to achieve you need to bump this up. If you have one single subject you will want to have a lower aperture (smaller number) and focus on them and the rest of your photo will blur. If you have several subjects like the bottom photo and want them all to be in focus you need a higher aperture setting (group of people/landscape photo).

In all three photos, I focused on the first spice in the exact same spot. (Soon I will go over how to change your focus manually instead of allowing your camera to do it for you).

I'd like you all to post your best photo from the week of ONE subject in focus and the rest of the photo blurred and when you post please include your settings – I will have a spot to post on my Facebook page and if you post on Instagram please tag me and hashtag it #hellocharliephotomamas. Again, I will give you tips throughout the week but comment on this post if you have questions on the assignment. (not everyone will have lenses that have apertures that will go to the same number, I'm guessing most of your lenses can go as wide as 4.0)


Since your assignment is all about aperture, I wanted to give you another visual example of how to get more blur in your background. Are some of you having trouble getting blur? There are more factors that go into it than just having a lower, wide open (smaller) aperture number.

First photo: Imagine your four children are lined up perfectly like angels
Middle photo: elephant steps forward and is now the focus of the photo, the other kids become a little out of focus
Bottom photo: elephant is even closer to me so the group becomes even blurrier

This also works if you physically move further back..and then your focus stays on elephant but your foreground becomes blurry as well as the background. I will give you an example of this can only be achieved by manually moving your focus to something further back.

Settings are the exact same for all three photos so you can see how important it is to have space between your subject and background to get blur. My shutter was low to get more light and because my subjects were so still at 1/60, aperture 3.5, ISO 400 (no flash). So if you want a beautiful family pic don't line them up right next to a tree or a wall and hope the leaves or wall will blur. Put them in the middle of the yard/room (if you want a blurred background that is).