More Experimenting With the f-stop

Hey, we’re having a heat wave here! It actually got up to 20 degrees F this afternoon and the sun came out! I took this photo when I was shoveling this morning and it was still very chilly out – brrrr!!!2007-02-09 015_sm

The wind chill and snow need to catch up with the idea that it needs to warm up soon!

Using my ever patient model who never needs a break, I tested the various f-stop settings on my camera found in the AV mode so I can actually start getting this f-stop thing. I took a set of black and white photos, then a set of sepia photos. And I told Mon@rch I took different photos of the same thing with different f-stop settings, and he helped me understand what is going on! Thanks Mon@rch! I’m not going to tell more of the details yet, because I’m still working on understanding more details.

f-stop at 2.8 (the lowest number f-stop my camera can achieve). Think of the human iris outside in darkness letting in as much light as possible by have the largest diameter it can. My camera’s iris was letting in the most light it could here:


f-stop at 4 – camera is letting in less light:

f-stop at 6.3 – letting in even less light, making the photo darker:

f-stop at 8 (the highest f-stop on my camera) and the darkest photo of all. Here the camera is letting in the least amount of light it can. Like the human iris in light is at the smallest diameter it can get. Get it? Me too!


I did a tighter f-stop test with the sepia mode. Here’s f-stop at 5


f-stop at 5.6

f stop at 6.3

There’s much more to this, but I have to take things apart and study them by themselves, so I can start putting them together to get an, ah, complete picture. Today was my day to understand f-stop in the daytime. And thanks to Mon@rch’s help, I have my next tests to perform.

Here’s some tracks in the snow leading to the silver maple. I noticed the same tracks in the neighbor’s yard too, leading to their trees:

And here’s a closer view:


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Feb 09, 2007 @ 19:31:20

    Pam, I don’t even have f-stops on my camera. It’s a simple Kodak camera with a 10x zoom plus 4x digital zoom. I can adjust photos for low-light but not f-stops. Or, maybe I can? I don’t even know. My camera is full of “mode” settings, i.e. sports, outdoor, indoor, etc. But I have not read the manual entirely.

    Years ago (like 20) I had a Nikon SLR 35mm which put me in total control of everything. It was a great camera and I don’t know what ever happened to it. It wouldn’t serve my purpose now anyway as it wasn’t a digital camera but it was a good learning tool.

    You’re a good teacher. Keep that old camera and know it well!


  2. Pam
    Feb 09, 2007 @ 20:34:49

    Mary – do you have an AV mode on your camera? I’d have to look at the Kodak camera at work to see if they have an AV mode. Anyways, on the Canon I have that’s where I can adjust the f-stops, and change to Sepia & B&W, and change my ISO settings.
    I have an SLR film camera upstairs that is in the box collecting dust. I used to just play with it til I was happy with what I saw through the lens, but all of this other stuff Mon@rch is teaching me is new to me! More coming later.
    Thanks – I have a good teacher teaching me and I’m just testing and blogging what he teaches me so I get it and remember it!


  3. Mon@rch
    Feb 09, 2007 @ 21:33:09

    hope I am not confusing you with everything I threw at you today! Great to see what you have been doing with the camera today! All that info on f-stops and shutters should help you a great deal when using your SLR camera (and stop collecting dust)!! Keep up the great work and it is great you are sharing with the blogging world!


  4. Pam
    Feb 09, 2007 @ 21:37:18

    Mon@rch – Nope you’re not confusing me. I just break things down into pieces so I can understand them and then I’ll put them back together as a whole. I’ll work on DOF tomorrow if the weather permits! Nooooooo, I don’t want to go back to a film camera! Don’t wanna, don’t make me!! 🙂
    I just hope I’m sharing correct info! If I’m not please let me know! I can take it! 😉


  5. Susan Gets Native
    Feb 09, 2007 @ 23:00:21

    All the camera mumbo jumbo gives me hives. But I know that I need to learn it if I am ever going to raise the quality of my photos up to even “decent”.
    Rock on, Pam! And keep listening to Tom!


  6. Pam
    Feb 10, 2007 @ 10:27:18

    Susan – It makes my poison ivy scars flare up. Turn your camera to AV mode and just start playing with the settings, that’s what I’m doing! I don’t like many of the photos yet, but I hope I’ll get there someday!


  7. jayne
    Feb 10, 2007 @ 17:42:32

    Hi Pam… I am also trying/striving/hoping to get a handle on what my Canon digital SLR can do if I only experiment, and so I reeeeallllly appreciate reading what you are learning and adding it to what I am lightly understanding thus far. Some days I am understanding better than others… baby steps! (Thanks for stopping by my blog.) :c)


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