This week Ron and I had the awesome pleasure to stay at Disney Aulani for a few days! We LOVED IT and give Disney a big thumbs up for everything about it. We already had a favorite resort on the island, so Aulani had to be all that and a bag of chips to compare. Aulani did not disappoint! We were greeted with real flowers leis and a warm Aloha spirit as soon as we arrived. The resort is spectacular and if you’re considering a trip to Oahu, we highly recommend spending at least a few nights at Aulani. I’m using my photos from Aulani as this weeks sample photos.
After a year of shooting on Auto Mode, I finally decided to venture out and learn how to shoot on Manual Mode! I learned that the three basic elements of exposure were ISO, Aperture and Shutter. Combining all three correctly would give me a correctly exposed photo – not too dark and not to light.
I found Aperture to be the most confusing because the measurements, known as f-stops, are backwards from what most people think they should be. I’m not going to confuse you by explaining it the technically correct way – but I’ll explain it the SIMPLE WAY my son’s photography instructor did. He had Jeff shooting manual the very first day! If you want the technical understanding – there is a ton of information on the web to boggle your mind as to how to get a correctly exposed photo.
Here’s the simplified version of understanding Aperture:
Think of a line of fence posts in a field. Do you want to see two fence posts clearly or do you want to see twenty fence posts clearly? If you only want to see two fence posts clearly, then use the lowest f-stop on your lens which might be f/2.8, f/3.5 or f/4 for example.
If you want to see twenty fence posts, set your aperture at a higher number like f/11 and higher. If you use higher f-stops like f/14 – f/22 you should use a tripod to get a sharp image. I find f/8 – f/11 are good apertures to everything in focus and handhold the shot during the day. That’s me- if you’re cool hand Luke, then maybe you can handhold at higher apertures and get a sharp shop.
It’s fun to determine your own aperture instead of letting the camera decide for you! If you are shooting a portrait, your subject will pop with a nice bokeh (blurry) background. I used an F/2.8 aperture for the shot of the rooster below. I would have preferred to have better bokeh at the bottom half of the image, but I’m still learning too and don’t always get it right!
Just turn the MODE DIAL on your cameras to Av (Aperture value). Rotate the main dial to adjust your aperture. Looking through your viewfinder, you can see the numbers change as you rotate the dial. Decide how many “fence posts” you want to see and set your aperture accordingly. The camera will determine the other settings for you.
The photos below demonstrate the difference between f-stops and how many “fence posts” you see.
Have some fun shooting on Aperture Priority this week!
Have Fun in Focus!
Lenise and her husband Ron own and run Kingdom Camera Rentals. If you are in or coming to the Disney and interested in renting a camera from them, you can reach them at: