# Thread: How do you remember aperture sizes?

1. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by calebk
May I also ask how you would execute motion blur of the kid, while having the background still clearly focused? It's like I want a piece of cloth fully soaked in water, but dry at the same time.
Er if I know, I won't be asking right?

Thanks zac08 for providing the answer! Ok that makes sense, but sounds a bit overkill, so don't think I'll attempt such a shot I guess the typical shot would be to have the object still while background blur.. Panning is an art eh? You need to move at the same speed as the object or else it won't end up focused?

2. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra
1) The bigger the number, e.g. f/11, the smaller the opening of the aperture blades, resulting in a greater depth of field.

2) The smaller the number, e.g. f/1.4, the bigger the opening of the aperture blades, resulting in a shorter depth of field.

Depth of field refers to the distance in front of and behind a focused subject (e.g. a person) that is also in focus.
Ahhh...haha..thanx for the correction =) i knew something was wrong

3. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
Ok how about some advice here. Suppose you are at a brightly lit park at night and you see a kid cycling around slowly. You wanna take some nice shots of maybe some blurred motion to show his movement and maybe if even possible, have the background still clearly focused. Oh, and maybe if possible show trailing lights of his backlight.. How would you approach such shots in this scenario?

Thanks!
Originally Posted by calebk
I hope you realise that no matter how "brightly lit" a park is at night, you are talking about ISO speeds of 1600 or 3200, apertures that should be around f/2 or faster, and shutter speeds in the region of 1/8s - 1/15s.

How do I know? I've shot a film in a park before, and was doing production stills.

May I also ask how you would execute motion blur of the kid, while having the background still clearly focused? It's like I want a piece of cloth fully soaked in water, but dry at the same time.
subject motion blur, b/g still, possible, camera tripod mounted, shoot with slow shutter speed.

btw, eyes may see bright enough, does not mean bright enough for camera records decent images.

4. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
Er if I know, I won't be asking right?

Thanks zac08 for providing the answer! Ok that makes sense, but sounds a bit overkill, so don't think I'll attempt such a shot I guess the typical shot would be to have the object still while background blur.. Panning is an art eh? You need to move at the same speed as the object or else it won't end up focused?
If we are on the same wavelength here, I think you are referring to panning right? If so, the background will not be still clear. However, if you want your background to be clear while having motion blur on your subject, don't expect your subject to be quite so visible; it will be blurred from the motion. You can only keep one.

Originally Posted by catchlights
subject motion blur, b/g still, possible, camera tripod mounted, shoot with slow shutter speed.

btw, eyes may see bright enough, does not mean bright enough for camera records decent images.
Yup, however your subject will be blurred out due to motion if your background is still...so yeah...

Agree with your second point also...this is what a lot of people are surprised by, when they find out that indoors, somehow when the house is so brightly lit, you still need ISO 1600 and f/2.8 to get decent shutter speeds.

5. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by calebk
If we are on the same wavelength here, I think you are referring to panning right? If so, the background will not be still clear. However, if you want your background to be clear while having motion blur on your subject, don't expect your subject to be quite so visible; it will be blurred from the motion. You can only keep one.

Yup, however your subject will be blurred out due to motion if your background is still...so yeah...

Agree with your second point also...this is what a lot of people are surprised by, when they find out that indoors, somehow when the house is so brightly lit, you still need ISO 1600 and f/2.8 to get decent shutter speeds.
That's what he want, so just tell him how to do it, who cares what he want it for....

6. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by calebk
If we are on the same wavelength here, I think you are referring to panning right? If so, the background will not be still clear. However, if you want your background to be clear while having motion blur on your subject, don't expect your subject to be quite so visible; it will be blurred from the motion. You can only keep one.

Yup, however your subject will be blurred out due to motion if your background is still...so yeah...

Agree with your second point also...this is what a lot of people are surprised by, when they find out that indoors, somehow when the house is so brightly lit, you still need ISO 1600 and f/2.8 to get decent shutter speeds.
that was just let TS know, seem many people think eyes can see very bright, should able to shoot with out flash.

7. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
Er if I know, I won't be asking right?

Thanks zac08 for providing the answer! Ok that makes sense, but sounds a bit overkill, so don't think I'll attempt such a shot I guess the typical shot would be to have the object still while background blur.. Panning is an art eh? You need to move at the same speed as the object or else it won't end up focused?
most panning shots are done with pre-focus, aka lock the focusing at a point which the subject will be there at the time you make your exposure.

8. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Yep you are right. I did try in my room where I have installed those twin bright daylight kind of lights, and ordinary the room looks very bright. But while trying to take shots, the effect is not quite good enough...

Originally Posted by catchlights
btw, eyes may see bright enough, does not mean bright enough for camera records decent images.

9. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

So as long as I can find something at the same distance and lock the focus first right? But how fast you pan your camera in relation to the movement of the subject will determine eventually whether he turns out clear or blur right?

Originally Posted by catchlights
most panning shots are done with pre-focus, aka lock the focusing at a point which the subject will be there at the time you make your exposure.

10. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
So as long as I can find something at the same distance and lock the focus first right? But how fast you pan your camera in relation to the movement of the subject will determine eventually whether he turns out clear or blur right?
three words....

practice, practice, practice.

11. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Roger that

Hey I realised that some of you guys might actually be professional photographers? I'm actually thinking of going for some studio shots of my family (wife and daugher and maybe my parents). Anybody can do that?

Originally Posted by catchlights
three words....

practice, practice, practice.

12. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
Roger that

Hey I realised that some of you guys might actually be professional photographers? I'm actually thinking of going for some studio shots of my family (wife and daugher and maybe my parents). Anybody can do that?
Yes, I'm..

and yes, many people here do offer studio or location family portrait services.

you can post a thread in Services Offered / Wanted to look someone able to help you, or check out the link in my signature.

13. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

This is a really good article I read on manual exposure based on the Sunny F/16 method

http://www.beyondmegapixels.com/2008...basics-of.html

Really gave me the confidence to experiment with full manual.

14. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by catchlights
Yes, I'm..

and yes, many people here do offer studio or location family portrait services.

you can post a thread in Services Offered / Wanted to look someone able to help you, or check out the link in my signature.
for ah ben.

15. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by simonwoo
Hee thanks Caleb. Yep I read about this but you did make it a bit clearer (Hmm so F/2 at 50mm would be the same size as F/4 at 100mm right? :P)

I just wished they had standardized it to something like 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 etc lah heheh.. Makes it easier for a beginner to pick it up mah :P
It is... isn't it? It's just the square root of a geometric series. sqrt(1)=1, sqrt(2)=1.4, sqrt(4)=2, sqrt(8)=2.8.......

f-stops are just the reciprocal of the numbers. The reason is simple. Every stop should increase/decrease the amount of light by a factor of 2. f/stop is a measure of length while the amount of light is determined by the area of the opening. Since for a circular opening, the area is pi*r^2, for every doubling or half the area, the diameter (or radius) should only increase or decreased by a factor of sqrt(2).

16. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

After all said and done, you think the TS has become a better photogrpaher. Reading all of this, I think I would have become a worse photogrpaher if I did not erase everything I read and go back to what I do best. Go out and shoot.

MAny people have been most forthcoming with explanations and answers, however, at the end of the day, the physics behind all this is not that important.

17. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Hey guys thanks for all your replies. I have definitely learnt a lot from all the replies here. Of course this was never meant to be a substitute for actual practice^3 and perhaps even taking some photography lessons. But I have definitely learnt quite a fair bit of new information and tips so far. Thanks to all who chipped in to share!

18. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

After all said and done, you think the TS has become a better photogrpaher. Reading all of this, I think I would have become a worse photogrpaher if I did not erase everything I read and go back to what I do best. Go out and shoot.

MAny people have been most forthcoming with explanations and answers, however, at the end of the day, the physics behind all this is not that important.
It's definitely no longer important when it's already at the back of our minds. But for a start, it's definitely useful to know how to control the amount of light you need and its impact on the various parameters one vary, ie, shutter speed vs motion blur, aperture vs depth of field, ISO vs grain/noise. After all, an artist first needs to know how to mix paint and use the various brushes properly before he can start to paint, even though he has great ideas up his mind. Same goes for photography. The day will come when the physics behind it is no longer important..

19. ## Re: How do you remember aperture sizes?

Originally Posted by lsisaxon
It's definitely no longer important when it's already at the back of our minds. But for a start, it's definitely useful to know how to control the amount of light you need and its impact on the various parameters one vary, ie, shutter speed vs motion blur, aperture vs depth of field, ISO vs grain/noise. After all, an artist first needs to know how to mix paint and use the various brushes properly before he can start to paint, even though he has great ideas up his mind. Same goes for photography. The day will come when the physics behind it is no longer important..
At the end of the day, it all depends on the individual. However, knowing exactly how big the aperture opening is for a given lens/focal length is irreverent. Holding shutter speed constant, f2.8 on a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm or a 200mm allows the same amount of light thru to the film/sensor, even though the actual aperture opening is of different sizes. Hence, for that matter, do we need to know? Or should we inundate a new photographer with information that is not going to help in creating better images?

We are simply too techno-blinded. Photography is a creative art, not engineering.

20. ## Re: Sorry I mean remember F numbers rather than actual size in mm

Hi guys,

Actually I tried to clarify this somewhere in the middle of the thread but I think it goes lost in translation somehow I wasn't really asking for the exact measurement in mm but when I said how do you remember the sizes, it was mainly because the standard measurement is in a 1/f fraction so it makes it very hard for a newbie to remember as compared to if it was just in decimal points and not an inverse relation. When I talked about remembering, it was also like I said, when you try to take a shot on the spot now, how do you roughly know what aperture size to set as a starting pointing before you fine-tune it. And I think I got the best answer with the sunny-16 rule. In that, that will be the basic guideline I'm going to follow and I guess I already have a good starting point from there. And I can remember now, I will basically work with the four estimates - f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 for deeply overcast, overcast, slightly overcast and sunny respectively.

As a newbie, I think I've already achieved a lot in the past few days to be able to write this, so thanks for all your help! Without all you helpful contributions and reminders, I'd probably still be clueless how to play around with aperture settings! But not anymore you see! So thank you very much!

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