If you go down to the woods today

On New Year’s Eve my Dad and I headed into the woods to take some photos! My Dad is a keen photographer, and has an ever-expanding collection of cameras. He is also a member of Selsdon Camera Club, so he is often looking for new subject matter for their competitions. The plan was for him to teach me a bit more about the technical aspects of photography, and to help me get my head around aperture, shutter speed and ISO.


I don’t have a particularly mathematical brain so I am finding it quite hard to get my head around the balance between these three elements and how this affects a photograph. I mainly focused on changing either the shutter speed or the aperture in the settings, which then automatically adjust the other elements.

Firstly I experimented with shutter speed, finding a spot in the woods that looked onto a road. This was a good way for me to see how changing the shutter speed affects how moving objects are captured. With the van I had set the shutter speed too short, so it has frozen the motion of the van. Trying a second time with the car I altered the shutter speed so that the shutter was open for longer therefore showing the motion of the car.

Then I experimented with aperture and how this affects the parts of the photo which are in focus.

In the image on the left I have deep depth of field and in the image on the right I have a small depth of field which has only focused on the moss with the background blurry. Although I’m not convinced the moss is entirely in focus.

I also experiemented with aperture when taking the photos below.

mossmoss 2

However on the image above the focus is on the dried leaf in the left hand corner which is not what I had intended!

My camera automatically sets the ISO, so I have left that alone for now. Although my Dad has suggested I borrow one of his film cameras where the ISO is fixed, so I’d need to make sure I’m setting the aperture and shutter speed correctly.

I also had a lot of fun experimenting! Some of these worked, I think, and others were not quite so successful.

All this, I imagine, is very simplistic for advanced photographers. So if anyone has any advice for how I can better understand aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and the affect of these on images, I’d really appreciate it.

I’ve also been given my first photography challenge of 2016, the topic is ‘2 minutes from home’. So I’ll be wandering around outside my flat over the next week looking for inspiration!


Author: lilymphotography

I'm new to the photography world, and would appreciate any constructive criticism on any of my work.

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