July 9, 2010
I’ve taken some good pictures in my time—not all of them accidentally—but I get confused on HOW cameras work. For instance, an f-stop regulates the light that enters the camera—the smaller the F-stop, the bigger the aperture. The bigger the aperture, the quicker the shutter speed should be.
So you have a small number letting in lots of light and a big number (500), which stands for a quick shutter time (1/500th of a second). And it depends on the situation as to which combination you use.
Now throw in depth of field, which can help you hone in on your subject and leave the background blurry (it sounds like zoom, but isn’t). Do you need a big f-stop (=small aperture) and long shutter speed (a small number) or vice-versa, or something else?
Toss in a little dyslexia, and the fact that my brain freezes like a rabbit near a fox at the mere thought of learning something new, and you’ve got big trouble in photography land. It’s enough to make me hyperventilate!
After spending quite a bit of time trying to help me work it out, my brother-in-law finally said, “Small f-stop = blurry background.”
Now that I can handle.