University of Virginia
Photography and Perspective
What's your favorite word and why?
In photography, "aperture" is one of three settings that dictates the quality of a photo. It determines how much light to let into the camera and can be adjusted to optimize a photo’s brightness, focus, and depth. It’s a fun word to say, but was an incredibly hard skill for me to learn and utilize. This past year, as I’ve learned the basics of taking pictures on DSLR cameras, the word aperture has come to represent the large challenges and joys of learning a new skill.
After hours of reading manuals and watching YouTube tutorials, I took my camera to my backyard to take pictures of the night sky. The photos did not turn out well, as the camera distorted the photo’s color with a blueish hue. Changing my location, the shutter speed, or the ISO, did not help revert this distortion. After days of trial and error, I discovered that by closing the aperture slightly, I could limit the amount of extra light that entered the camera. This minor tweak ultimately solved my problem.
With a better understanding of fundamental concepts like aperture control, I’m beginning to explore the more complicated fields of macrophotography and long exposure imagery. This has not been easy, but the beautiful picture of a praying mantis on a branch or a...
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