10 camera techniques to master in 2014

10 camera techniques to master in 2014

Camera techniques for 2014: Add depth by using different apertures

Explore depth of field with prime lenses: f/1.8


Experiment with different apertures and perfect your shooting technique to produce pictures that grab viewers’ attention and keep it there

Once you take control of the aperture of your lens and choose where to focus the camera, you’ll be able to draw the viewer’s eye into the frame.

By mastering the art of using apertures, you can sharpen focus on the part of the image you want to draw attention to, using the rest to complement this aspect.

Once you take control of the aperture of your lens and choose where to focus the camera, you’ll be able to draw the viewer’s eye into the frame.

The aperture controls the depth of field – that’s the area in front and behind the subject that retains sharp detail. The smaller the aperture, the deeper the area of apparent sharpness in the frame. This is useful for maximising the depth in a landscape or a macro shot.

The wider the aperture, the shallower the depth of field in the picture. This is very useful for blurring out any background distractions in portraits. Focusing and aperture control work hand-in-hand.

If you’re working with wide apertures and the resulting limited range of apparent sharpness, you have to get the focus spot-on, otherwise the whole picture will look soft. This is particularly true with close-up shots, where depth of field, even at small apertures, can be measured in millimetres.

You can use this to your advantage, though. Selective focus, where you sandwich a sharp subject between layers of blur, enables you to direct attention straight to the subject.

To do this effectively you’ll need to use a telephoto lens which will compress the perspective and soften foreground and background detail, thus exaggerating the layered effect.

Background Blur: how to fake a shallow depth of field in 15 minutes

Camera skills: Find a cleaner view

Wide apertures are great for blowing out a background to a soft blur, but even this won’t be enough if elements of the background aren’t far enough away from the subject.

Always consider backgrounds and use the depth-of-field preview button of your camera if you’re working at anything other than wide-open aperture.

Camera Techniques for 2014: 01 Take control of focus
Camera Techniques for 2014: 02 Get white balance accurate every time
Camera Techniques for 2014: 03 How to focus on moving subjects
Camera Techniques for 2014: 04 How to use exposure compensation
Camera Techniques for 2014: 05 Ways to cope with high-contrast lighting
Camera Techniques for 2014: 06 How to position your subject in the frame
Camera Techniques for 2014: 07 Learn basic TTL flash techniques
Camera Techniques for 2014: 08 Sharpen photos like a pro
Camera Techniques for 2014: 09 How to control the saturation of colours
Camera techniques for 2014: 10 Add depth by using different apertures


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The 10 Rules of Photo Composition (and why they work)