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Photo Facts - Diagrams  
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Page layout altered, in order to use larger diagrams.

Aperture - Shutter Relationships -

Here then is some diagramatic material to hopefully better help you see the parallels and relationships between apertures, shutter speeds (exposure time) and focussing matters. It is probably best if you have already read (plowed thru!!) the preceeding section just on Photo facts and then this section should help reinforce that information.

Parallels between shutter and aperture -

This first diagram attempts to show the parallel graphically - the idea here being to equate halving or doubling of exposures both with time and aperture. In other words ... if we move from the left with time, OR with exposure, there is a halving. This diagram is not trying to show an inter relation ... just a side-by-side comparison. I am not sure this as clear as I originally intended - if problematic then let me know.

Aperture/shutter relationship

Exposure equivalence -

Now, we use much the same diagram but for a different reason. Notice this time how as aperture sizes get smaller (numerically bigger!) from left to right ..... we show shutter speeds getting larger - longer.

Thus, on the left we show a combination this time, of full aperture f1 and a short shutter speed of 1/000 second. At the other end far right we have progressed through to the smallest aperture f32 but with a shutter speed of 1 second.

EVERY single position on this diagram is the SAME exact exposure - in other words the amount of light landing on film or CCD (charge couple device) is identical. Relate this now to the choices you have to make when taking photographs .... maybe go back to Photo facts and read again regarding depth of field and freezing of movement.

With manual settings and using aperture or shutter priority options - you have to manage to decide for a given exposure where, along this set of combinations, you want to make your choice, and know why.

Equivalent exposure relationship

Aperture vs Depth of Field -

Finally, an attempt to further detail the relationship between apertures and focus.

The top portion of this diagram in fact only repeats what we have seen above .. as a reminder of the inverse relationship between shutter speeds and apertures. Again, on this - each position is showing the exact same exposure but - youir choice of aperture is going to influence just how ''deep'' is the depth of filed with close ups.

Look at the two diagrams lower left - they pretty much tell it all - by showing two extremes. Consider once more trying to photograph your snubbie from the muzzle end ... but want cylinder and even grips to be passably sharp.

The upper of the two shows a combination exposure of 1/000 second at f1 ... great for stopping movenment and camera shake but ... extremely shallow depth of field. All you might get sharp is muzzle and foresight!

Now consider the lower one, where we go the other extreme and use a 1 second exposure - at f32! We see a considerable increase in the depth of field (zone of sharpness) .. such that maybe we will not only have the muzzle sharp but the cylinder also. Remember - it will improve even more if you move back a bit and then crop the picture later to use just the main subject. Just to prove a point .... go look at actual pics of snubby taken with different settings .... it shows what is meant.

One more point is worth making - even with high quality lenses, there can be problems at both extremes ... ''wide open'' and ''stopped right down''. Now in fact f1 will not usually be found as such .. a ''fast'' lens of 50mm say on a 35mm camera would be ''fast''at about f1.4. Also, the majority of lenses do not stop down much smaller than f22. Note however, that lens aberations are most likely to show when wide open .... so a shot taken at f1.4 could display some loss of picture edge definition. At the other extreme too, fully closed down, there can also sometimes be problems with certain lighting conditions. If possible try and use in-between stops as much as practicable.

Aperture - depth of field

Well - this has been heavy going eh?! I can only hope that something of what you have seen makes enough sense to help make things a bit clearer. As mentioned elsewhere, some reading of books or web browsing will quickly help you capitalize on this but hopefully it has been enough to fill in a few blanks.

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