12 Weeks to Better Photos Course: Week One, Aperture

Yay!  It’s a new year and time to better learn my new Canon T3i DSLR camera.  I (and my super awesome March Moms Board) will be taking part in the 12 Weeks to Better Photos course and today officially begins Week One… Aperture.  Check out the full pdf lesson here.

What is aperture you ask?Aperture chart

Aperture is the size of the hole in the camera lens that determines how much light is let in. When the aperture is bigger (or “wider”), more light is let through. The “size of aperture” is your f/stop – it’s how you measure how big the hole is. F/stops can be confusing, because the higher the f/stop number is, the less light is let in.

Along with determining how much light is let in, aperture also controls how much of your image is in focus. A lower f/stop means less of your image will be in focus; a higher f/stop means more of your image will be focus.

Week One Assignment:

This week’s assignment is to take pictures of a fixed subject using various f/stops to show how the change in f/stop alters a picture.

I helped myself to one of my son’s Dax’s teddy bears for this assignment.

f/1.8{f/1.8, 1/80 sec, ISO 400}

f/4{f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO 400}


{f/10, 1/60 sec, ISO 3200}

Okay.  So there were some big differences here.  The most obvious difference is the level of blur in the background.  I also noticed the differences in light.  You will notice by the third picture I had to do some serious ISO bumping to get a better lit photo.  Also, picture one is a lot warmer due to the higher aperture.

Because I’m anal, I decided to do some tweaking to picture 2:

f/4 edit

This was by far my favorite of the three.  I liked the way the bear was focused with just enough background blur.  Because I like warmer pictures, I ran the Pioneer Woman’s “Warmer” action over the picture.  Then I used Totally Rad’s Boutwell Magic Glasses action to give an extra little pop of black.  Love!

Week One Challenge:

Finally, this week’s challenge photo.  All of the March Moms have to take what they learned and apply it to a real subject.  I used my most favorite subject, my son Dax!

Week One Challenge

{f/4, 1/80, ISO 400}

Nice sharp focus on my subject.  Beautiful blurry background.  BOOM!

I hope everyone has enjoyed Week One, Aperture.  Next week: ISO and Shutterspeed!




5 thoughts on “12 Weeks to Better Photos Course: Week One, Aperture

  1. Thanks again for arranging this, Christen! I’m so excited to learn about my camera and hope to be able to take amazing photos like you soon! 🙂

  2. Pingback: 12 Weeks to Better Photos: Week Two, ISO & Shutter Speed « Christen {hearts} Pinterest

  3. Pingback: 12 Weeks to Better Photos: Week Three, The Color of Light « Christen {hearts} Pinterest

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