Aperture (AV mode)
Aperture is another name for the hole in the lens of a camera. The width of this
hole can be adjusted by using the aperture priority mode, adjusting this controls the depth of
field in an image. The depth of field is a term that refers to the range of distance that appears
acceptably sharp in an image.
Lens aperture sizes are measured in f-numbers, the lower the f-number the
bigger the aperture opening meaning the depth of field is reduced but light intake is
increased. Higher f-numbers mean that the aperture opening will be much smaller, increasing
the depth of field but decreasing the amount of light able to enter the camera.
In taking this photograph I set the
camera to AV mode and set the aperture
to f/16. This is quite a high aperture
setting and so the foreground is in focus
but the image goes blurry towards the
In this image I set the camera to quite a
medium aperture of f/8. This makes the
depth of field larger and so more of the
image from the foreground to
background is in focus. This is good for
situations here a larger subject in the
foreground is desired to be in focus but
the background still wants to remain
When taking this image I set the
aperture to f/4 meaning the depth of field
was large and so the whole of the image
could be in focus, from the foreground to
Shutter Speed (Tv mode)
Shutter speed is the length of time the camera’s shutter is open when taking the photograph.
The longer the shutter is open the longer the film or image sensor is exposed to light.
The shutter speed can also change the way movement appears in a photograph, a short one
freezing fast moving objects and long ones blurring them, often for artistic affect.
In this photograph I have set the shutter
speed to one one-hundredth of a
second. This is a very quick shutter
speed and means that the motion can be
In this photograph I have set the shutter
speed to one-eighth of a second. This is
quite a middle range shutter speed and
as you can see doesn’t freeze the motion
as in the photo above, but shows some of
the motion as blur. This can be done to
create artistic affect but can also just look
like camera shake, something that is not
This image has been taken with a very
slow shutter speed of one third of a
second. Because of this slow shutter
speed there is a lot of blur and camera
shake. This, if planned can add to the
quality of the photo and give it good
artistic affect, but sometimes it just looks
as though the shutter speed hasn’t been
ISO is the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. It is measured in numbers, the lower the
number, the lower the sensitivity and the finer the grain. In a dark situation a high ISO can be
used to get a faster shutter speed. This allows motion to still be frozen in darker areas, for
example indoor sports events. The problem with high ISO’s is you get noise and grain in the
shots and this can decrease the quality of your photographs.
In this photograph I used a very low ISO.
In this instance the natural light wasn’t
really good enough to use such a low
ISO setting and so the image is too dark.
In this photograph I used quite a middle
range ISO setting and increased the light
sensitivity slightly, but the image is quite
dim and not very well illuminated.
In this photograph I used a very high ISO
and this illuminated the image very well
where the natural light available couldn’t.
White balance is the way you can get the colours in your photographs as accurate as
possible. Sometimes, if the white balance isn't correctly set, images can come out with an
orange, blue or yellow tint to them, and not look like the real thing. Different types of artificial
light can cause these different tints, for instance fluorescent lights often give an image a
blueish look while tungsten lighting often adds a yellowish tinge to the image. These different
tinges are often called “Temperature”.
Preset white balances often work well and the auto-setting is usually enough to work out the
right white balance for a photograph. Most cameras also have a manual white balance mode
where you tell the camera what white looks like so it can determine what the other colours in
the image should look like. You do this by taking a photo of a white card specifically made for
this purpose, this tells the camera what the colour looks like in the light conditions of the
scene and allows the other colours to be collaborated accordingly.
The white balance settings made a difference to the temperature of the images. The first
two photographs have a warmer tinge to them, as they have been set as the shade and
cloudy settings. These light conditions give a slightly blue look to photographs and so the
camera compensate for this by warming the image, hence the yellow/orange warmth.
The second two photographs have been taken with the tungsten and florescent settings.
These light settings give off a yellow light, especially the tungsten light, so again, the
camera compensates by cooling the image. This is why the photographs have a blue tint.
The idea is to get the white balance right so you cant see a coloured tint over the image
and it just looks accurate, with all the correct colours.