This post continues the journey into how I self-taught myself to use my camera. Don’t forget to read part one before reading this post! And stay tuned for a third post in the future.
Bokeh– This is a little word that honestly I didn’t learn until my third year into photography. LOL I learned how to achieve bokeh early off, but didn’t know it was called bokeh until years later. It refers to the blur of photographs. When I started out (and by no means do I know it all about photography) I kept seeing pictures where the background was really blurry and I wanted that! But I didn’t know how to get it. So I did some research and finally learned it is controlled by the aperture of your camera.
My advice to any of you with cameras who have the ability to manipulate your aperture, if you want that effect, learn how to take your aperture setting down as low (in number) as possible. Ex. 3.5 is usually about as low as you can go with camera kit lenses. I have lenses that function at apertures of 2.8 and even 1.4 and they are the bomb! (Note: when reading about aperture a lot of times there will be a little “f” in front of the number). This number basically allows your lens to take in more light the lower the number which also blurs the background. So… on the flip side, if you have a higher number such as f5.6 or f16 even, your background content will be more in focus than it would at f2.8 or f3.5.
So how did I grasp this concept, I started shooting with my camera in aperture priority mode (semi-auto as discussed in the first post). On the camera dial it is A for Nikon, and Av I believe, for Canon. You, as the camera operator, control which aperture you want to use, but the camera chooses everything else. This is just how I did it. By no means am I saying it’s the best way because now knowing how to shoot manual mode (M for Nikon) is by FAR the best thing I’ve ever done for the quality of my pictures straight out of camera (SOOC)! HANDS DOWN. I had to do a lot more post-processing when shooting A mode to get the exposure that I wanted for skin tones. But different strokes for different folks on that because I like my photos to be a tad bit over-exposed.
So, I challenge you to take the plunge and become somewhat in charge of the outcome of your pictures (vs. auto mode where the camera chooses the outcome) by learning to manipulate the aperture! Break out that owner’s manual.