Boat on Beach


My first “lesson” in photography – aperture.

So it was a lovely sunny evening and Mum & Dad suggested we took a trip to the seaside – firstly for fish and chips on the beach and secondly to bring my camera along. So off we set to a very quiet but wonderful beach called Greatstone.

Dad brought his camera and while we were all eating our fish and chips, sat on the beach – he began taking some photos. Sophie (my younger sister) who was meant to be eating her dinner, couldn’t help but pose for Dad:

Sophie On The Beach

Once we had all eaten – Dad again explained to me that photography is “painting with light” and that in a camera, there are three aspects to painting with light – which affect how much light shows on your images and they are:

Aperture – how big the hole is in your lens. The lower the number, the bigger the hole and the more light it lets in.

Shutter speed – how long the sensor is exposed to light or how fast the shutter opens and closes. The bigger the number the slower the shutter opens and closes or the longer the sensor is exposed to light – so more light on your image.

ISO – how sensitive the sensor on the camera is to light – the lower the number, the less sensitive it is, so the more light (or slower shutter speed/bigger aperture) the sensor needs.

Dad said that adjusting any of these changes the way the picture will look.

I have to say – my brain felt a bit frazzled, so we looked at aperture and how this affected the picture. So I started off with a wide aperture to let in more light (low number) and worked my way up to a narrow aperture to let in less light (high number).

Dad put my camera on “Av mode” so that I could change the aperture and the camera would change the other settings for me.

We then looked around the beach for things to take pictures of, Dad built a rick tower out of pebbles and I found a pretty shell. We also took a walk along the beach and found some flowers and a boat to take photos of. Dad let me use his camera as well as mine.

So what did I notice:

The more open the lens is or the wider the aperture, the more blurry the background – making my object stand out more. I focused on the shell and the stone tower in the background is really blurry.I also noticed that this gave a faster shutter speed:

Shell on the beach

f5.6 (aperture as wide as my lens will go) 1/500 (a fast shutter speed – the shutter opened and closed in 1 500th of a second!)

The more closed the lens is or the narrower the hole to let light reach the lens, the more in focus everything is. The shutter seemed to open and close a lot slower than when I had a wide open aperture. The background looks a lot less blurry and everything looks a lot more focused:

Shell on beach

f16 (aperture pretty narrow) 1/60 (a medium shutter speed – the shutter opened and closed in 1 60th of a second)

We then walked along the beach and took some more photos, but the sea mist started to roll in – although we didn’t leave until around 9:30! Below are some of my beach photos.

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