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Old 03-09-2009, 14:41   #1 (permalink)
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Question How Important Is... Part #1

I would like to know other forum members opinions in relation to how important it is to have a sufficient understanding of Aperture in todays photography considering that many people (myself included) seem to be moving away from film to digital photography and digital photography seems to be a lot easier as far as not needing to know all of the rules?

I grew up with an understanding of things like Depth Of Field (DOF), Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO/ASA, Exposure, Color temperature, the rule of thirds, reciprocity failure etc...

Is information like that mentioned still relevant to todays photographer?

NOTE: I will repeat this question on a number of topics in different posts as I am interested in your opinions...

Thanks for reading.

regards
Dean.
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Old 03-09-2009, 16:19   #2 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

The way that the aperture affects an image is the same regardless of what medium you use to record it. Depth of field is still depth of field whether you are shooting film or digital.

I think you have missed the point if you think that the settings you mention do not matter or have a different effect if you shoot digital rather than film.
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:34   #3 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Well Dave, you and I and many others here grew up with film and an understanding of the thinks mentioned by Dean. Yet, I believe that I know what he means. With digital I and I think a few others have a tendency to shoot first and then look and see. I am not justifying my slip shod attitude, I am just simply admitting it and because of it a lot of the fun has gone out of photography for me.

John
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:43   #4 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

i agree with Graham, its just as important to know what you are doing wither u are shooting digital or film, unless you are happy to shoot on auto and then u are not a photographer but just a happy snapper.
i wouldnt be able to produce the images i can if i didint know how to change the settings and what the effect on the work is..... even if you shoot and look later you surely still have to have the knowledge to be able to get it right the next time?
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Of course you are right Fiona particularly your last sentence.

John
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Old 03-09-2009, 18:00   #6 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by clickherephotographytips View Post
Is information like that mentioned still relevant to todays photographer?
In a word: Yes.

Digital is certainly more forgiving since you can instantly check your results and try again if things have gone wrong... but you still need to know what your doing in the first place to have a good chance of getting things right.
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Old 03-09-2009, 19:56   #7 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Of course it matters but I think only to the person taking the picture.
No one else would know wether the shot was intended to have a particular DOF or not.
You could argue after looking at the shot and make comments if the shot would look better or otherwise with different focus points.
I think here that you have the digital cameras which fall into two catagories. The SLR that does have similar DOF characteristics to the 35mm film SLR's and then you have the compact digital cameras that have a DOF which are very difficult to get much of the frame out of focus.
I think that the film compact cameras were nothing like the Digital compacts of today but the Digital SLR's are very close to the characteristics of their 35mm film regarding DOF and other areas.

I have noticed since changing to Digital SLR cameras that I have become lazy and do not think the shot properly before I take it, where when using my film SLR loaded with a £4 36 exposure 400asa 35mm film cassette, I made sure very few shots were of duff composition and the DOF was carefully monitored through the lens before hitting the shutter button.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:36   #8 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Thank you for your great replies and I apologize in advance for the length of this reply...

I agree that Depth of Field, Shutter speed etc are the same regardless of the format of photography that we are using, thanks for pointing that out Dabhand16.

Although most settings are the same, is it important for a photographer to understand what they are and how to alter the settings?

I am interested in your opinions about how important these aspects are given that digital photography can be a simple point and shoot task (for some) by using the Auto setting on a camera, perhaps I didn’t explain this properly in the original post?

I used to take a lot of photographs using transparency film and on occasions I still do - particularly Landscape Photographs. When I use this film, I need to be more aware of obtaining the correct exposure as this film is expensive and has a low tolerance for error – digital photography seems to be a little more forgiving, especially with programs such as Photoshop that can be used to not only make a photograph look more appealing or to manipulate the image and correct some imperfections.NOTE: I have only just started to use Photoshop and I have seen some wonderful work on Pixalo using this program.

John F – Thank you for your comment as well… I think that you understand the point that I was trying to make, even if I had a few problems explaining it.

At times I need to remember that this website is open to photographers of all levels of experience, I raised this Post for discussion not only to have others such as yourselves answer my questions, but; also hopefully to encourage ‘new’ photographers to think a little (and perhaps research) about their photography as I feel that having a little knowledge about Aperture, Depth of Field etc may assist all of us to become better photographers.

Fiona B – Thank you also for your reply. I feel that you have also hit the nail on the head with your comment in relation to changing camera setting and the affect that it has on your images. How do we encourage people that are newer to photography to think about the same aspects?

Sonsey – Thank you for commenting – Digital photos certainly do seem more forgiving…

Brian Wright22 – You have raised an interesting point about aspects such as Depth Of Field etc should be important to only the person taking the photograph and the comparison between point and shoot film / digital cameras and the fact that digital photography can turn us into lazy photographers – Thanks for doing this…

Do you have any suggestions as to how we can encourage newbie photographers to take their cameras off the Auto settings and think about things like Depth Of Field, using Shutter Speed to create mood etc?

Thanks again for taking the time to read this and for adding comments…

Regards
Dean.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:26   #9 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by clickherephotographytips View Post
I would like to know other forum members opinions in relation to how important it is to have a sufficient understanding of Aperture in todays photography
Still pertinent/relevant/important but my more recent photography went from
AF and get as much in focus as possible (bridge so large-ish DOF)
AF/MF, get centre shot in focus, not much consideration for DOF (dSLR with relatively poor lens wide open)
AF/MF composed for the subject, relatively shallow DOF (dSLR with 'better' lens)

So as I've progressed I've come to use DOF as an essential part of the composition (but partly down to progression off wide landscape shots to more zoomed/macro subjects)
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:35   #10 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by clickherephotographytips View Post

Is information like that mentioned still relevant to todays photographer?
Yes.

Dependencies applying to that answer would be how interested you are in photography....

There has always been an "esoteric" divide between those with interest and the point-and-click people who dont give a stuff as long as they get most of the face before they cut the top of the head off..........

Yes, developments in camera technology have made DSLR more available, but, it now comes with green boxes... the fully auto mode...
But would point-and-click party-person be buying a DSLR in the first place?...
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:45   #11 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
With digital I and I think a few others have a tendency to shoot first and then look and see. I am not justifying my slip shod attitude, I am just simply admitting it and because of it a lot of the fun has gone out of photography for me.

I FULLY admit to shoot first ask questions later....
It suits my style, because I "See", shoot, and if its still there, go for a manual mode to get a better picture.....
Not all subjects are static, not all wildlife wants to "Pose" for the camera, and sports events dont have pauses during live action for us to get all the settings right...

I fully admire the full auto mode, and make much use of it, even if it is to see what the camera suggests, and makes alterations to suit...
Fully Auto data is the closest I am going to get to a Canon Expert whilst out there in a field... I fully admit my Camera is at the moment more capable than I am, I may be learning fast, but viewing the data on the back screen is one of my greatest tools to "Learn" where I am going wrong....

Maybe in the future I will stop using full auto as the "Home" spot on my selector, but for now, green box is the default setting....
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:51   #12 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by fionaB View Post
i wouldnt be able to produce the images i can if i didint know how to change the settings and what the effect on the work is.....
Exactly.... My Dad went armed with a Light Meter.. I now take a "Snap" on auto to see what I get and make the changes needed to take a manual shot... that Auto mode gives me more information than a lightmeter ever could, and I think my Dad would have gone into enthusiastic overdrive over DSLR with the advances over SLR.
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Old 04-09-2009, 19:30   #13 (permalink)
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Re: How Important Is... Part #1

Wow long posts....have not had a chance to read through them all, but here is my take.

I think what you are saying is that in the "old days" taking pictures for the general public was a lot more diffcult.

In the past, anyone who wants to take a picture have to have alot of knowledge to just even just a snap shot.

However, with the advent of point and shoot, may it be 35mm film or digital, that has changed. Now adays snap shot family pictures are within the grasp of everyone who knows how to turn a camera one. With the digital age that has surfaced in the last say 6-8 years.......this is more true than ever as people don't even have to worry about the cost of film. Now everyone has a camera, on their phone, a point and shoot a webcam......anything. I think the world has changed in that sense.

However, for anyone including myself, who is just starting out in the photography world soon learns that...if you want to take GOOD pictures and you want to express yourself artistically, then NOT only do you need to know ALL that stuff that people used to need to know...you now need to learn all the digital stuff as well - aka photoshop/lightroom. Some stuff we don't use as much, thing dealing with properties of films, but in their place we now have to learn abot digital media - their advantages and their limitations.

So that is my two sense
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