Photography 101: The First Day of my Serious Photography Lesson

Aperture, Shutter Speed, Focal Length and ISO

Having been taking pictures based on intuition and gut feeling for far too long, a photographer friend of mine decided to give me a small lesson on aperture, shutter speed, focal length and ISO and how all affect a picture’s exposure. He told me I already took good pictures, but I did not know how to visualize what I see in my brain into the picture. I agree with that.

He taught me the relationship of shutter speed and aperture and how an amateur like me can just shoot with Aperture Priority mode without having to worry about pictures being too dark or too bright. Because with the camera (Nikon D5100) and lens (Nikkor 18-105 mm) that I have, at a given aperture, there are about 18 shutter speed to choose from. If I shoot in Shutter Speed priority mode, in extreme conditions, at a given shutter speed, the camera will only have about 8 full f-stops to choose from (correct me if I am wrong here) But of course, if we are concerned about the level of motion we want to show, an amateur like me will probably have to go for shutter priority mode so there is not much complication involved.

At the end of the lesson, he asked me to take four pictures, all taken in Aperture Priority mode with my only  18-105 lens according to these topics:

1. Shallow Depth of Field
2. Deep Depth of Field
3. Freezing motion
4. Showing motion

The followings are my take on the assignment:

Shallow Depth of Field: 105 mm, ISO 400, F5.6, 1/1600 Sec. [ Blurred Background, accentuating the subject ]

 Deep Depth of Field: 25 mm, ISO 400, F22, 1/200 Sec. [ Everything is in focus]

Freezing Motion: 18 mm, ISO 640, F3.5, 1/250 Sec. [ Motion is somewhat frozen]

 Blurry Motion: 18 mm, ISO 360, F8, 1/30 Sec.
I definitely appreciated his lesson, which motivated me enough to go read more about it in detail. I borrowed one of his books and some from the university’s library [ Guide to Photography by Michael Freeman – rather old book but pretty good ] . Now I am occupied for at least a while, oh and also with the new assignment (100 different pictures of an old Polaroid camera)
Thank you Stephen, my camera connection, for the lesson and the motivation! 🙂
 Stephen and his Canon Point and Shoot: 58 mm, ISO 200, F5, 1/80 Sec, taken a couple of months back
Thank you for stopping by and like always, comments or thoughts are appreciated! Visit my photography page for pictures I have taken so far! Happy Memorial Weekend Everyone!

4 responses to “Photography 101: The First Day of my Serious Photography Lesson

    • Thank you Dafra!

      I tried to be more technical but just could not, just kind of keep it simple and show the results after the lesson. I hope to write more technical stuff as I learn more and practice more. Thanks for following girl and also for sharing this post on your Twitter! Let’s hang out some time this week!


    • Dear Dwisha,

      Thank you! I tried to write it as simple as I can. I love taking pictures. Check back often for more fun stuff I take. Are you a photographer as well? Take care! 🙂


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