01/14/12

Photography Course: Aperture

I wish I could give all of my sweet friends a tight squeeze for spreading the word about this class!!!  I’m the most blessed girl, EVER because of you!  I’m SO excited each of you are here!!!  I added a button to my right sidebar if you’d like to pass the word on to other friends or have a reminder for yourself…no worries at all about posting it…I’m not looking to grow the numbers, just want us to be able to love on each other as we learn photography!!!

For those of you with new DSLR cameras, congratulations!!!  I’m SUPER happy for you!  I really love mine and hope that you totally love yours, too!  Definitely when you spend this much, it’s important to figure it out!  As you may know from Photography Course 1 {Overview}, my hubby, aka Stud, is a great photographer and understands all the ins and outs.  I’ve stuck to the position of assistant up until this point because I’m naturally gifted in composition {positioning the subject and camera to get super cute shots}.  I’ve decided that it’s time I sit down and actually listen to what Stud’s been trying to teach me all along.

I guess before I go any further, I should introduce myself,  I’m a homeschool mommy, in the process of learning to be a great photographer along with you.  For those obsessed with high tech verbiage, you may be totally disappointed.  My plan is to share the “how to” of photography and leave out the why, basically simplify things for those of us that just want to take pretty pictures!  Last week I showed you this picture of our camera so you could begin to familiarize yourself with your cameras features making this week’s lesson a little less overwhelming as we work on understanding our first element of photography.

As many mentioned in the comments, of the Overview course, a common issue with photography is getting the lighting set for a great picture.  This is what we’re going to learn to perfect!  The exposure triangle I introduced to you last week makes up the main ingredients to capturing an AWESOME picture in a manual setting.  There are other factors too, but this will be a great starting point for us!
Photography Course: Aperture
Exposure is essentially the heartbeat of photography!  Let me give you a super brief overview of exposure’s elements and then we’ll jump into explaining the “how to” and you can start annoying everyone and your dog by practicing and applying what you’ve learned!!!  Okay, pretty please stay with me for a second as I tell you a bit about each of these elements.  It’d be so easy to give up here, because sometime words jumble up on a page and jump over your head.  I get that!  Just read it though, try to let it soak and it will make total sense during the application, promise.
Photography Course: Aperture.  I had to walk away for a “breather” as I was trying to understand Stud’s explanation.  {He would describes my “breather” as more of a “two year old fit of frustration and found it utterly hilarious!}  But I kept with it and I’m here to tell you after week one’s lesson, I think Aperture is really not too big of a deal!  I can do it!!  And I totally think you can, too!  The confusing thing about Exposure is that each part essentially does the same thing— controls light!  And yet, each is doing the job in a different way.  Calmly read the three points below and then we’ll make some sense of it all!
  1. Aperture.  It is what regulates how much light is let into your camera!  Basically, think of it as curtains on a window that control how much light comes into your room.
  2. Shutter Speed.  This controls the amount of time that the shutter is open when you’re taking a picture.  Basically, think of it as holding onto your blind’s wand and allowing the blinds to be open for only a certain amount of time.  Like when you’re struggling to awake your child in the morning and she won’t get up so you briefly open the blind and then close it again to let her see the light of day.  The shutter speed is how long you leave the blind open.
  3. ISO.  It is your camera’s sensitivity to the light.  In other words, if you had a west facing window, you could add a window sheer to the window so the light coming into your room wouldn’t be too harsh, but if it’s overcast you could easily pull that sheer back and allow more light to come inside.
I totally didn’t know Stud was taking this picture of me until a few minutes ago.  He said he thought it was cute how focused I was…let me tell you, I was DEFINITELY focusing!  I want to impress my sweet bloggy friends LOTS!

Today we’re going to only talk about Aperture {f-stop}.  There were lots of you wanting to start taking cool pictures that focus on one subject and blur the background.  I’m totally with you on that!  I love those pics.  Sadly, if you don’t have a 35 or 50 mm lens, you probably won’t be able to get this feature as detailed as you’d like, even with the best of skills.  {Be sure to check with me or someone you trust before selecting one of these lenses because certain lenses are only compatible with certain cameras}.  With that said, Aperture is still SUPER important regardless of which lens you’re using and the more you practice working with it, the more you’ll understand why.  Remember what I told you Aperture was earlier…

  1. Aperture.  It is what regulates how much light is let into your camera!  Basically, think of it as curtains on a window that control how much light comes into your room.
In order to apply this you’re going to have to think through this next sentence until it makes sense.
Lower Aperture equals More Light AND Higher Aperture equals Less Light!

So let’s jump right in with the application.  Look at your camera and find the mode dial.  Turn the mode dial to A or AV depending on whether you have a Canon or a Nikon.  You have now set your camera off of Auto and onto Aperture setting.  You go girl!!!  {Double check in your menu that your White Balance and ISO are both set to auto}.  Now we’re ready to have some fun!!!

Aperture is measured in f-stops — {in the picture above you’ll see it is set up as {f1.8}.  F stops occur at f/1.8, f/2, f/2.2, f/2.5, f/2.8, f/3.2, f/3.5, f/4, f/4.5, f/5, f/5.6, f/6.3, f/7.1, f/8, f/9, f/10, f/11, f/13, f/14, and so on, but rarely will you go beyond this point.

Now with your mode dial set to A or AV and the other elements set to auto {using your menu button}, you are in control of your photo’s aperture.  Find the dial that your camera uses to operate the Aperture.  Depending on your camera, it will either be the main command dial or the sub command dial {which looks the same as the main command dial, but is located in front of your camera}.  Use this dial to lower and raise the aperture and find each of these settings.  Take a picture in each of these settings…yes, each of them…I know there are a lot, but if you don’t you won’t know the result of each setting…they’ll just be random numbers on the screen.  Starting from f/1.8 and continuing through f/14 you’re going to photograph one object 19 times.  My advice, find something you really like!

I chose to photograph tangerines because they reminded me of Pantone’s Colour of 2012, Tangerine Tango!  Find a spot near a window where you’ll have a lot of light {once you are controlling all three aspects of Exposure you’ll have more flexibility with lighting because you can set your camera to work with you, but for now, the more light the better, and you’ll find that most photographers prefer natural light}.

With the camera set to {f/1.8}, look through your lens viewer and halfway press your shutter release.  Find the square that focuses your camera inside your lens viewer {mine is red} and place it on the object you would like to focus on.  Leaving the shutter release halfway pressed scoot the camera so you have framed what you are wanting in your picture.  Press the shutter release the rest of the way down and you have taken your first picture in the {f/1.8} setting.  Next, press play, look at your picture, then press the shutter release halfway down again to get out of your play menu.

Turn the main command dial one time until you reach the next setting and repeat.  Depending on the lens you have, you may or may not be able to go all the way down to {f/1.8}.  Just go as far as your camera will allow and use that as your beginning place.    As you continue into higher aperture settings, you will notice the shutter speed will change.  Because the camera is in auto mode for the other two elements it is trying to compensate to keep enough light needed to sustain a decent picture.  Be sure to hold very still in high aperture settings and eventually we’ll work with the other elements and have more control of the amount of exposure each of our photographs are offered.

Once you have reached the aperture setting f/14, go back through and look at each of your pictures remembering the order you took them in…starting from f/1.8 and continuing through f/14.   Do you see that the higher your Aperture, the more light is necessary!?!?  And did you notice that the higher the Aperture, the more in focus everything in your photograph will be!?!?   Did you realize that the lower your Aperture, the more your background will blur and focus on only one area!?!?  You got it!  You captured the “depth of field!” That’s what Aperture is all about.

  1. Usually, when we’re photographing food, crafts or any close up pictures, Stud uses a low aperture by setting his camera to f/1.8 – f/3.2.  {Of course this will also depend on the lens you’re using, some lenses won’t allow you to go quite so low}.
  2. When we’re photographing our sweet B’s playing outside, Stud sets his aperture between f/5.6 – f/8.
  3. And when we are photographing family portraits and landscape, Stud sets his aperture between f/8 – f/11.

Below is my take on this coming week’s assignment.  I was so proud of how my pics turned out!  I’m telling you before this week, I was only using my camera with the settings already set by Stud!  It was ALL ME this time and it was actually pretty fun!!!  I totally hope you give this a try!  It’s really boosted my confidence!  I even wrote a sappy note on my personal fb page because I felt all overwhelmed with giddiness!  Let’s use this next week to practice taking pictures in Aperture setting!!  I set up a linky party HERE for anyone who wants to come back through the week and share with Stud and I your photography progress!!!  Remember, exposure has three elements and this is only the first.  You may see some improvement now, but by taking the time to really learn all three elements separately, when it is all put together you’re going to be totally ROCKING it!!!

And like I said last time…Stud’s dream camera is the Nikon D3S priced at just over $5000.  Maybe someday sweetie!!!  Crossing my fingers, he and each of you have a SUPER successful 2012!  Here’s a link to Tons More Cameras to Explore!  I’m an affiliate so if that makes you uncomfortable, pretty please feel free to shop around for better deals.  Sadly, it would take tons of camera purchases for us to have even a bit to contribute towards Studs “dream camera,” but every penny helps, right!  LOL!  I’ll be expecting you next Friday for the next little lesson!!!  Until then, have a good weekend {I think I’ll be stopping back by tomorrow…so many great things to share, I can’t keep away}!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my bloggy friends!!!

And now really the last thing…before you purchase a lens like this, be sure to check with us or someone else you trust lots, because cameras have different mechanics and you’ll need to make sure you’re purchasing one that is SUPER compatible with your camera or you’ll end up totally frustrated!!!

Link to: Photography Course 3 {Shutter Speed}

 

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Comments

  1. HUGE Thanks Aimee! I just read this through – great simple tutorial with just enough content to play with but not enough to confuse me! Whew! You pictures turned out great! I’ll definitely share my pics once I get some good light to shoot in! I’m feeling those good photog vibes!!! Have a great week!

  2. Thanks for the great information. I learned so much from this post and it was very easy to understand and not too technical. Again, thanks. Looking forward to more.

  3. Cindy says:

    Hi Aimee,
    This is fabulous! I’m going to put your camera button on my blog so I remember to come back for the next installment. There is so much that I need to learn. I have a good camera, but it does me no good if I don’t know a thing about using it, right?
    Thanks so much!!!
    Hugs, Cindy

  4. Titus 2 Work in Progress says:

    Aimee!! This is AWESOME. Thanks for the tips. I’ll have to contact you when I do get a DSLR. Love ya girl 🙂

  5. What a GREAT birthday present!!! I’m crossing my fingers with you!!! Share your good news when you get it!!! Definitely the Rebel will give you the same concept and whatever you learn will carry over into the 7D! You’re going to be totally ROCKING it girl!!! XO, Aimee

    • I have the 7D Cannon and I have not been dissapointed. The camera takes alsome pictures and like your self I am also wanting to lean more about my camera.

  6. Is your boyfriend a photographer?! What a sweetie to share!!! I’m glad your trekking with me! I think if we figure out Aperture we can figure out ALL of it! We’re going to be SWEET photographers for sure!!! XO, Aimee

  7. Thank you!!!! I bought a new Canon Rebol almost a year ago and have been pretty much using it in the auto mode. I even took a community ed. class which was a waste of time. I learned nothing. My goal this year is to learn to use all the advanced settings, so your on-line class is just what I needed! I even emailed this post to my daughters who have the same camera as me. I am your newest follower.

  8. Thanks Kristin for passing this tutorial onto your friend!!! Super sweet of you! I think your blog pics always turn out great! I’ll be excited for you when the right time comes for you to upgrade! They are crazy expensive so I totally understand!! XO, Aimee

  9. You’re totally welcome Katie!!! Thanks for letting me know! I LOVED getting your sweet note!!! XO, Aimee

  10. I am going to set it up my assignment and try it out, I just did with the babies’ elmo book and it was fun!

    going to give it a try with fruit in a bit.

    thank you so much for sharing this!

  11. Is the camera to be hand held or sed on something solid for this exercise?

    • You should be able to just hold the camera for these shots! As the aperture gets higher you’ll need to be extra still because the shutter is opening and closing slower, leaving a greater possibility for blurriness. Can’t wait to see your results sweet friend!!!

      Stud says, “Exhale before you take the picture.” That makes me laugh! XO, Aimee

  12. dodgingacorns says:

    thank you thank you! I am catching up after a week with 2 sick kids but can’t wait to try this assignment! Your descriptions and explanations are wonderful for those of us not versed in photography. I know I will never be a professional, but I would like to take better pictures of my children, family, and friends, and this is such an awesome way to learn! you rock!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Aimee, thank you SO much for this…I am actually “getting” it…a little:)! I’m a slow learner and I need very basic and very small amounts of info at one time..(my PHD-in-Engineering/amature photographer hubby has trouble explaining things to me in my “slow” language;P.) Thanks SO much Girl!!! Darla

  14. O’Amiee, I am so glad I found your photography course. I got a Cannon Rebel T3i for Christmas and do I need help!!!! I’m going to review course I and II again and in the morning take some pictures. Thanks for doing this for all of us. Enjoy your weekend,
    Gail

  15. Thank you. I just purchased a used Nikon F200 and this is helpful. My last similar camera was 35 mm and somehow that was easier to understand it was letting in more or less light when the aperture was on the actual lens.

  16. You will absolutely love the 50mm!!! My husband said that your camera has an internal focus motor and will support that lens. I personally love the look of the pics taken with our 50mm!!! Excited for you!!! XO, Aimee

  17. I’m visiting here via Rondell at Something Nice & Pretty. I’m so excited that you are kindly sharing all this info. I have a Nikon DX which I am really enjoying but know I’m not using it to its full potential. I am now a new follower and look forward to jumping into this tutorial. Thanks so much!
    CAS

  18. Awesome info… now I need to go play with my camera 😉

  19. Thanks for this, it’s really helpful for those of us that don’t actually know how much about our cameras other than how to take a picture! =) This helps a lot!

  20. I use aperture priority a lot with my camera but sometimes still struggle with the lighting. Your tutorial is very thorough and there is something for everyone. I will be back and hope you can pop over to Elle and Lou also.
    Lou

    • Hi Lou! I bet the lighting issues will improve as we study the other element of the exposure triangle! I’m so glad that my tutorial is simple for you to follow! Thanks SO MUCH for your sweet note!!! XO, Aimee

  21. I blog hopped from a linky party to your party…can’t remember which one, but you have explained this whole depth of field to me in words that I can understand. I will definitely be trying this out this week and hope to come back and participate in your linky party next week.
    Thanks so much for taking time to share.

  22. This is by far the best explanation of aperture that I’ve found! Thank you! I’ve been trying to play with this stuff lately, but having very little luck.

  23. Wow, great tutorial, thank you! I just got a new DSLR for Christmas and it is my goal to learn how to use it this year. I can’t wait to read more.

  24. delightfuleclecticabode.com says:

    Hi There!

    I just found you from looking at another blog Amy from Cedar Hill Ranch. I bought a Canon 60D last April and have been shooting with the automatic settings. I was just thinking today that I need to read my manual and begin experimenting with light and exposure and wow, here I am on your blog reading your tutorial. Thank you so…much for sharing this information. You explain everything is a way that makes sense. I’ll definitely be back!

    You rock!

    ~Sandy

  25. Aimee,

    At the start of the New Year, I decided to do a blog series on photography just like you did! But you seem to have a lot more resources at your disposal (like that photographer husband of yours!) and so I think my series is going to become me following your series and trying out your lessons each week! I am going to reference you and put up links to you in my posts, so I hope this is ok.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

    Catherine

  26. OH no…hopefully you won’t be regretting your AWESOME purchase for long!!! If you’re wanting the focus/blurred look, yep! If you don’t HAVE to have this look, you should be able to take tons of other GREAT pictures!!!
    XO, aimee

  27. Yes, different lenses have different capabilities! This first one is most impressive with the 50mm, but it definitely is critical for all the other aspects of the Exposure Triangle! I think with the next two additions you’ll be loving your photography!!! XO, Aimee

  28. I shared it on my FB page! Awesome job!

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read Photography Friday 1 and 2. Is there another one after 2? Thank you.

  30. Great tips! Thanks girl!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hi Aimee! I found you via Cottage Instincts and I am so excited – I have been so inspired by the beauty of the photography out in blogland and have been wanting to learn how to take better pics for a long time. My husband has a Nikon D90, but he recently had an accident with it and the display is cracked and no longer works 🙁 I am hoping we can have it repaired so that I can learn along with the rest of your readers! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Kaille

  32. Seriously no worries….as long as there’s internet, we’ll be here! Yes, those will work fine. When you decide that you want to start taking more “specialty pics” that aperture can offer, like when something is in focus and the background is blurred…you may want to update to a 50mm…they’re REAL fun lenses…but I wouldn’t rush into it…just follow the details listed and think through what your goals are for your photography! Thanks for checking and definitely ask anytime you have a question!!! XO, Aimee

  33. Go you…with your fancy lingo “sub-dial” … WhAtEvEr!!! You’re like totally BLOWING me away!!! LOL!!! I’m glad it’s working for you Jaya!!! All our skills…everyone’s going to be wanting us to be their besties before long!!! XO, Aimee

  34. this tutorial is AMAZING! I’ve had my 35mm lens for 6 months now and didn’t have the darnest clue what to do with it. I’m so excited to test it on my camera. Thank you so much! I can’t wait for more.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I had many “Ah Ha” moments because of your blog. Thank you so much!

  36. After we get pass the Exposure Triangle, there will be other tutorials that may be more applicable for your camera!!! Definitely keep checking back and follow along!!! Manual aperture may not work with your camera…still a great one though!!! XO, Aimee

  37. We TOTALLY recommend getting the Cannon 50mm 1.8 lens. The 50mm has to do with the focal length of the lens and the 1.8 lets you know that you can drop the aperture very low to get AWESOME single focus pictures with the background blurred {called bokeh}. It’s a very versatile lens. Great for portraits and shooting in low light! I’m excited for you…you won’t want to take this lens off EVER! There’s such a difference between standard lens and prime lens photography! It’s listed on page 2 of our little store if you want a picture of it, the link is as follows.! Photography Favorites I’m so excited for you!!!
    XO, Aimee

  38. I’m impressed Renee!!! You should be too! Many would have quit and never figured out that the lens was doing what it was intended to do and you were doing your absolute best!!! Not every class will be as dependent on Aperture!!! Stick with it! Very fun that you have a camera ready to learn on!!! Let me know if I can be of any extra help for you!!! I’m SO glad you’re joining along!!!

    XO, Aimee

  39. Anonymous says:

    So excited I found your blog and your photography classes. I recently got a Nikon D5100 and haven’t really been able to play with it. I am a beginner beginner beginner!! But I did my research and this was the camera to get so I am super excited to learn how to use it. Thanks for doing it step by step and taking your time. There is so much to learn in photography and I would much rather take my time and really go over each part then to have it all shoved in my brain at once and then have to figure out what to do with it. I am assuming that the reason I can’t go lower then F5 is because of my lens right? I just have the stock lens the camera came with and hoping to get a 50mm sometime soon. I just want to learn the camera before I start adding more gadgets to it. Let me know if that is the reason why though and if it isn’t what I need to do to fix it. Thanks so much and loving this blog!!! Thanks, Jackie

    • I’m so glad to “meet” you Jackie!!! Thanks LOTS for stopping by!!! What a treat to find a sweet note from you! Definitely taking your time with learning photography takes away the stress and makes it fun!!! I’m loving learning just a step ahead of these posts! I know how much I can handle each week and am always real excited to post what I learned knowing you’ll LOVE it, too! Exciting stuff, right! In regards to your aperture and f stop, you totally guessed it Jackie! When you invest in the 50 mm you’ll have more flexibility with your aperture. No worries though, you’ll know when you’re ready for that step!!! Thanks SO SO MUCH for being a sweet friend and encouraging me so much…Definitely keep the questions coming!!! XO, Aimee Lane

  40. Colette says:

    Hi Aimee, I just did the Aperture lesson but my shutter speed didn’t change at all just the f stop. Any suggestions?

  41. Anonymous says:

    Hi Aimee, I just found this wonderful tutorial and have started trying to apply it to my camera. In the first part you say to turn the mode dial to “A” – I’ve done that. Then it says to make sure the ISO and White Balance are on Auto. I’ve managed to get the White Balance on Auto but it won’t let me change the ISO to Auto. It says this option is not available. I have the Nikon D3000. Thanks for your help! Melanie

    • So glad to have you Melanie! Try this…Go to menu, ISO sensitivity, click down one and turn auto sensitivity from off to on. 🙂 Let me know if that gives you any more trouble!!! XO, Aimee

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello, Aimee! Thanks for the quick response. I tried doing this and now it is blinking “ISO-A” across the top. On the right it shows ISO is 200. The “?” in the lower left corner is also blinking. When I push the help “?” button it says “Subject is too dark; cannot adjust the exposure. Use the flash”. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks, Aimee for the quick response. I tried your suggestion and now it is blinking “ISO-A” across the top. The help “?” button is also blinking in the lower left corner. On the right it shows the ISO is 200. Any suggestions??? Thanks for your help! Melanie

      • Cathy says:

        Hi, I had the same prob as you, I found out that you just need to turn on the flash. That’s what the ? meant for me, at least.

  42. Try this Shannon…Go to menu, ISO sensitivity, click down one and turn auto sensitivity from off to on. 🙂 Let me know if that gives you any more trouble!!! XO, Aimee

  43. Amy Kirchhoff says:

    Thank you so, so much for these series!!! I’m relying on your to teach me all about my new SLR! I’m blogging about the experience as I go, and you’ll be mentioned quite a bit:
    http://www.amytriedit.com/2012/03/teaching-myself-photography-aperture.html

    I just can’t get the button to work: When I put it on my post, I’m getting a tiny little box with the button inside of it instead of just the button. But I’ll keep including link backs. 🙂

  44. Great information, Aimee.

    Kelly

  45. Vanessa B. says:

    Now I won’t seem like just a spoiled teen, who has a nice camera but doesn’t know how to use it!!! Haha 🙂

  46. April says:

    My husband has a Canon 7D and I am excited to be able to finally use it properly! Thank you!

  47. Jen says:

    Oh man I’m hyperventilating my camera ISO is not in auto and I can’t figure out how to get it there. I see where the option is but it says it’s not available with the current settings. I am using a Nikon D3000. Trying not to give up so soon 🙂

    • Jen, I think you need to go to the main menu…under your settings…let me know if you have trouble finding it still! You can do it! That’ll be the toughest part…once you know your camera…it will all get easier! PROMISE! XO, Aimee

      • Press Menu…then make sure the camera on the left is open and scroll down until you find something like ISO Sensitivity Settings…

        • Rachel says:

          I’m having the same problem with a Nikon D60 with a Nikkor 50mm lens. I went to the main menu, camera icon, ISO sensitivity but Auto is gray, rather than white like the others. When I try to select it it says This option is not available with current settings. I do have the main dial set to A.

          • Melissa says:

            Did anyone figure this issue out? I’m so thrilled to have found these blogs!! But, I’m stuck a little because like you guys, I am not able to select “auto” on the iso menu. It’s in gray and says not available with the current settings. I reset the camera settings and tried again, but still no luck? Do you think it’s the lens? I have a Nikon D80 with a 55-200 lens. 🙂 Thanks for the help guys! I feel so empowered just knowing what all the buttons are! 🙂

          • Hi Melissa! I hope the ISO is being nice to you now! There are two menus that control the ISO on your camera. One to set auto on and off – through the menu. And the other adjusts the ISO. Let me know if this helps!?! XO, Aimee

        • Gracie says:

          I have this same problem. The auto option is grayed out. How do I change this?

  48. You absolutely figured it out!!! Awesome! Your camera is capable of going lower, but the lens is limited to 5. As you experiment with aperture, you may be tempted to add a new lens to your camera bag…a prime lens! It will allow you to go crazy low and be more creative in your photography. No need to focus on that though…the impressive thing is you got it!!! So excited for you! XO, Aimee

  49. Jennifer says:

    I tried this, but nothing blurred. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Jennifer, Sorry you’re having trouble. My guess would be that the lens you have is great for taking pictures, but will not allow you to take the aperture low enough to see a big difference in a blurred background. Eventually, if you continue to love photography, you’ll want to add another lens…I’d recommend a prime lens for you! This will allow you to get more professional looking portraits. For now though, have a blast and use aperture to allow more or less light where you are taking pictures. XO, Aimee

  50. Miriah says:

    I have the canon rebel t3 Eos and I believe I have a 18mm -55mm lense. And when I got to my aperature setting mine ranges from 5.6- 36. Any suggestions. I love taking pictures and your blog is very helpful. Most of my pictures are of my son and dog. Any suggestions on settings thanks! 🙂

    • Miriah, Thanks for leaving me a sweet notes. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my tutorials! The lens you have is great for taking pictures of your son and dog, but you will probably have trouble getting the blur effect because the aperture doesn’t go super low. Eventually, if you continue to love photography, you’ll want to add another lens…I’d recommend a prime lens for you! This will allow you to get more professional looking portraits. For now though, have a blast and use aperture to allow more or less light where you are taking pictures.

  51. Laura says:

    I bought a Nikon D40x in 2010 and have been saying for years that I want to learn how to really “use” it. I took photography in college and loved it, but, of course, forget everything I learned. I am so excited to try your course and to take my camera out of auto for the first time! I love your style of keeping things simple and relatable – I want to impress people with my pictures, not my verbiage. Thank you!!

  52. Hi! I just found your site through Pinterest {what can’t you find on there these days!}. Thank you so much for putting this together. I’ve been taking photographs with my DSLR for 2.5 years, but have never gotten the nerve to move away from Auto settings – successfully that is!

    I’m currently shooting with a Pentax k-x, which I LOVE. It’s kind of rare here in the states {purchased while living in Asia}. Your tutorials have been so helpful and encouraging – not looking to be a professional photographer, but really want to have the ability to take great everyday shots of my family.

    Follow my journey at http://www.jessankney.blogspot.com and my family’s personal website at http://www.ankneyadventure.blogspot.com

  53. JBsagar says:

    Hi Amiee

    Your blog is really nice…thanks for sharing all this..could you help me buy a new lense? I have a D90, bought it with kit lenses. I would like to buy a lense which is good for taking close ups/portraits..Please suggest

  54. BGY says:

    I just found your site via Pinterest, and am very excited! I got a Nikon D5100 in the spring, but until now have mostly been using it on Auto because it is a little intimidating. I tried this tutorial today, but I can’t figure out how to get my ISO on Auto (that doesn’t seem to be an option). My lens in the Nikkor 18-55mm and the Aperature only goes from f3.5-f36. Any help would be appreciated! Looking forward to learning a lot more from you, even though I’m 6 months behind!

  55. ashley says:

    Holy cow! I found your kitchen redo on pinterest. (Incredible!!) Then I noticed “photo” here on your blog! I can’t wait til daylight and some kid-free time to try this out! I also have the D90 and have so badly been wanting to get out of auto so I’ll have less ‘lucky’ shots and more awesome shots! 🙂 I am even more excited that you also have a D90!! Some of my delay was just figuring out which button/menu/sub-dial did what I want it to do.

    I’m so excited to have found this!

  56. Courtney says:

    🙁 I didnt get the same results with changing the F stop. I have a Canon Powershot S3 and my F stop goes from 3.5 to 8.0. They just got blurrier the closer I got to 8.0. Maybe the last one was darker. :/

    • Courtney, It sounds like you had correct results with your FStop. The higher you go, the less light will be coming in, resulting in a darker image. If your subject was in a darkish location, your camera may have had trouble adjusting your shutter speed causing the blurriness. How high was your ISO!?! In order to see a obvious example of a blurred background you will need to use a prime lens. I hope that helps!!? XO, Aimee

  57. Fionna says:

    I just stumbled upon this through a friend’s pin on Pinterest. I think it’s great what you are doing. I am just beginning to become more familiar with my camera and am looking forward to reading more so that I can become a better photographer. I hope you get your dream camera but it looks as though you are doing great with what you have.

  58. Shannon says:

    I was trying your aperture tutorial and got as far as trying to set my white balance and ISO to auto. My camera (Nikon D60) would not let me set the ISO to auto in the A setting. The lens I have on my camera is 18-55 mm, if that makes a difference. So needless to say my pictures did not look like yours at all…mine were super dark. Any suggestions??

  59. Nicki says:

    Hi Aimee,
    I just found you through Pinterest and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have had a Canon Rebel xsi for some time now, and I honestly never thought I’d be able to take it off of full auto. I can’t thank you enough for your calm and clear tutorials. Your kids are so lucky to have you as their teacher! I only wish I could have found you years ago so I would have been able to take better pictures of mine! I’m really looking forward to learning all you have to teach. Take care, Nicki

  60. Pamela says:

    Hi Aimee,
    Just upgraded my camera to a Nikon D3100 since I am giving my lower scale DSLR to my daughter for her college photography class. I have waited over a month to start following your tutorials and learn how to use my camera and actually understand it!
    Looking forward to perfecting a passion! Thanks for sharing!!

  61. Paul says:

    Nice blog. If I can make one comment on aperture: larger aperture = lower f-number = more light.

  62. Aimee says:

    Hello other Aimee!
    I was so excited to stumble on your blog! I have been trying to learn more about photography and cameras, and so far I feel like everything is written in Swahili…This makes so much sense. Thank you for making it easy on us!

  63. Rachel says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for your lessons! I think I may finally be able to learn! I replied to an earlier comment but I cannot seem to change my ISO settings to Auto in A mode. I went to the main menu, camera icon, ISO sensitivities. Auto is grayed out, rather than white like the other options. I can try to select it and it says This option is not available with current settings. I have a Nikon D60 with a Nikkor 50mm lens.

    • Rachel, Right below the ISO Numbers…you’ll see a prompt that allows you to turn your ISO Auto: On and Off. See if you can turn it on and I think you should be able to go from there! Let me know! XO, Aimee

      • Heidi says:

        I’m trying to do that, too – and am having the same problem. I have a Nikon D60 as well. Did you figure out how to fix that? I can select any of the other options, except Auto.

        • Hi Heidi…under menu there are two options that must be selected. One to set auto on and off – through the menu. And the other adjusts the ISO. Happy learning! XO, Aimee

  64. Jenn says:

    Great blog, I am excited to play with all of this!

  65. Cristiana says:

    Aimee,

    I just came across your blog, and I am so enjoying your photography tutorial!! i have bought tons of books and pinned lots of tutorials, but still don’t quite understand it all. And finally your tutorial is just what I have been looking for!! Something super simple to understand, written just for me!! LOL Thanks a ton for doing this tutorial, can’t wait to start learning my camera real good!!

    xo Cristiana

  66. Kathy says:

    Hi Aimee,
    I just recently found your blog and it’s exactly what I need! First, let me thank you for doing it. Since it’s been many months since you started it I’m not sure if you will still help me. I have a Nikon D3100 and I am using the lense it came with (18-55mm). I have been a Nikon user (N65, D50 & D3100)for @ 13 years now and am pretty familiar with the menu and changing settings. I am running into the same issue that has been asked in other postings about not being able to change the ISO to auto. Just below the white balance is the ISO sensitivity choice. Tab to right- At the top of that option it says ISO sensitivity with a 100 next to it. If I then tab to the right it comes up with a page choices of the the ISO numbers (100,200,400…) with the word Auto above all those greyed out. If I try to select that, it says the option is not available in this setting. Even though on the previous page I have AUTO ISO Sensitivity ON it will still let me set what # I want the ISO on but yet I can’t select AUTO on that page. I think what is confusing is that there appears to be 2 places to choose AUTO with the ISO but only 1 of them allows us to select it. Just below that on the first ISO “page” is a line that says AUTO ISO sensitivty. Mine is “ON” but I feel confused knowing that just above that I can change the # from 100, 200, 400, 800 but not AUTO. If I have Auto ISO sensitivity set to ON, we have no choice but to have the number set as well (since auto is not an option on that page) What should that be on? And/or will the other auto setting just override that number? Sorry for the ramble and I hope this clarifies the confusion in the other messages because I see exactly what they were talking about! I just want so bad to have my pictures come out the way I see them in my mind!

  67. Kathy says:

    Ok, so ignore my questions/rambling on in my post yesterday! I read the ISO lesson and I get it now! Thank you again for helping me cross over from the side of getting that “lucky” shot with my camera on auto to the manual side where I can finally feel like I deserve the compliments when they come in.
    Loooove this tutorial! 🙂

  68. Griselda says:

    Hello!
    My husband just bought me my first DSLR-Nikon 5100. I’m so excited that I found you…looking forward to learn how to use my camera with your help!
    Many blessings!

  69. Kristy says:

    Hi Aimee,

    First off, Thank you so much for doing this blog! I just completed my first photography project with your Aperture lesson! I think it turned out great! I really think that I will be able to learn the ins and outs of my camera (Nikon D3100) from this blog! Before I found this on Pinterest I was using my camera on the Auto setting, so hopefully once I get the hang of everything I won’t have to anymore :). I was also having trouble with setting the ISO to Auto, but figured that since there was two ways to do it and the one option that had all the numbers and the AUTO gray that I would try the other option with turning ISO AUTO either off or on to on and that seemed to put it to AUTO, because on the display screen before you take a picture it had ISO A blinking, which probably means that ISO is on AUTO. Sorry for also rambling.. Thank You again for this blog and even though I am just starting the lessons I am very excited :).

    • I’m so excited to have you! And congrats on figuring out the ISO confusion…that seems to be the biggest hurdle…you’re on a roll now! XO, Aimee

  70. Oh my gosh, thank you for putting this into simple everyday english! I took a photography course and this stuff all just went over my head I just happened to find this on pinterest and I will defintely take the time to go through and read it all and practice to learn more with you. I have a Canon Rebel [and I honestly don’t remember all the ending letters]. I have had it for probably 3 years or so and I have pretty much left it on auto. I’m so ready to be able to understand the confusing stuff so I can take better photos and be in photoshop less. Thanks again!

  71. moriah says:

    For some reason my camera will only go as low as f/4.5. why is that?

    • Depending on the lens you have, you may or may not be able to go all the way down to {f/1.8}. If you’d like more bokeh you’ll want to consider purchasing a prime lens. Let me know if you need help selecting the right one for your camera! XO, Aimee

  72. Hi Aimee, I am so glad I found your website. I was browsing my pinterest links and someone had pinned this link. My hubby bought me a Nikon D3100 as an early Christmas present and I am enjoying myself thoroughly but a little frustrated at my lack of knowledge. I love this tutorial and am very grateful I found it. Looking forward to reading and learning further.
    Thank you
    Tracy

  73. Cathy says:

    Hello!!! Thanks so much for the super awesome tutorials… I have had my Nikon 3100 for more than a year and NEVER left the AUTO setting… I love practicing with your help… anyway I think I’m ready to get a lens with a low f stop… I have two lenses, the basic one that came with the camera and a zoom lens… I really want to take pics with really blurred backgrounds… what lens do you recommend??? I heard that not all Nikon lenses may be compatible with the Nikon 3100??? Is that true???

  74. I just discovered your blog and I am so excited to read through your photography posts 🙂
    Thank you,
    Kaz

  75. Brittni H. says:

    I love your class, I’ve just started and you’ve already made it so simple for me to follow! I find it very difficult to follow most other blog classes but yours is fantastic!
    I do have one question though I hope you may be able to answer. I was doing the ‘homework’ for the 2nd class with apture and I found that my camera doesn’t go below f4.0, is it because of the lense I have or it is just not avaiable on my camera? I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3, I Googled it but it isn’t giving me any answers I can understand.
    Thanks in advance!!

  76. Jenny says:

    Aimee,

    This is the first and only site that I have EVER been on that helped me to learn about aperture. I have always been SOO confused but no longer will that be a problem!

    I was wondering if you could list some of the best lens for the Rebel t3i. Perhaps you’ve already blogged about this but I haven’t had the time to thoroughly check all your posts.

    Thank you so much; I am learning so much and I hope I will continue to learn more lessons each day!

  77. amanda says:

    My husband got me a nikon d3100 for my birthday, I wanted to be a photographer since I was a little girl, and now that I have this awesome camera it is a possibility. It’s just been so long since any of the classes I took in high school. I’m super excited about your tutorial. I have been searching for a blog that will teach me to use all the modes on my camera. Super excited!

  78. Tara Robins says:

    I am SO happy I found your posts! I have always loved photography, and have recently (finally) got a DSLR (canon rebel T4i) with the 18-55 mm kit lens. I am new to all this new stuff I need to learn, and you make it so much easier to understand than everything else I’ve read. I want to get another lens but am a little overwhelmed with all the choices. I’m thinking I want a telephoto lens?? I want too be able to zoom, get blurred background, and I have a toddler that will be the star of most of my portraits, so I need it to be able to capture a subject that’s moves alot lol. Any suggestions on a lens? Most economical, I am a beginner SMS can’t afford anything too pricey. I’ve also heard to make sure the lens is made of metal and not plastic, is that an important factor?

  79. Margie says:

    Hey there Aimee,
    I have been shooting for a couple of years. But STILL default back to the scene modes when I get nervous, which is alot! I am making a committment to follow your course. 🙂 I love your style of learning! Do have a question, I am buying a new Nikon, currently have a D60 with some FX lens that my sweet husband has bought me over the year. But didnt really know what he was buying! Too cute! Anyway, I am looking at the D7000 which is not a FX camera or the D600 which is a FX. I am afraid the D600 is over my head right now but if I am making the investment I want to get the one that I will grow with and my lens will rock with. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Margie…I hope that these courses are helping you become more comfortable with setting your camera. You choosing to go with Nikon was great for this exact situation. Lenses with Nikons are almost always interchangeable (which would be the case for you with your fx lens). The two have different sensors…both are great! We have the 7000 and love it. Stud will be jealous if you get the D600! 😉 XO, Aimee

  80. Natalie says:

    I am so glad I found your website (on Pinterest)! I just got my Nikon d5100 and I am in LOVE!!!! I really want to take great pictures without using AUTO! I love what you are doing on here!!! Thank you and Stud!!!!

  81. Shannon says:

    I found you on Pintrest and am very excited to go through your pages. I have had a digital camera for years and have dinked around with some of the manual options but really look forward to knowing and understanding more about them!! Thank you (and your hubby)!!!

  82. Denise says:

    Hi Aimee!

    I came across this site through Pinterest. I have a Nikon D3000 that I am dying to learn more about! I am just getting started in going through your lessons, & I can already tell you are gonna make this so much easier to learn! Thank you for that! I do have one question for you. I have been asked by people to take pictures for them. The recent will be in late January, where I will be taking Maternity pictures for a sweet family. While I am so excited to do this, I am at the same time very nervous. 🙂 However, I do believe your help is gonna ease my mind quite a bit, as I learn my camera. 🙂 My question is this: I have been wanting another lens for my camera. I know good pictures can be taken with the one that came with it, but I am interested in another that will add a little bit more to the whole photography process for starters. Can you recommend one? Also, do you suggest using a tulip lens hood?

    Thank you so much for your time!!

    ~Denise

  83. Briana says:

    I’m reading and taking notes very quickly so I can fully understand and retain your teachings. I’m very excited, but have hit a bump. You have told us in some cases to set out ISO and WB to auto. I set my WB to auto, but cannot for the life of me find the auto for my ISO. I have a Canon Rebel XT. Is it possible my camera doesn’t have an auto ISO option, or am I just missing something here? If my camera simply doesn’t have the option for it where do I go from here? Thanks.

    -Bri

    • I just did some research and you are totally right. Your camera doesn’t have manual ISO…craziness! Let me know if you need more tips on adjusting it! XO, Aimee

  84. Briana says:

    I meant carefully not quickly haha

  85. EmBo says:

    I just purchased the Nikon D5100 and am so excited. I love your blog. I would love to buy the 50mm lens… can you help me w/ a recommendation please? Thank you!!

  86. Beth says:

    I have owned the Canon Rebel T3i for a little over a year and have been trying to muddle through using it! I mostly shoot in the Sport setting since I’m mainly shooting my kids playing their sports but the colors don’t see, to POP like I’d like them too. So I’m reading your blog in hopes if taking better pictures. I also would like to purchase a stronger lens for pictures further away, can you recommend one? Thanks so much for writing this tutorial you’re awesome!

    • I’m writing a new Q&A post and yours will be included. Sorry for the delay! XO, Aimee

  87. Jessica R says:

    I jusy came across your blog and tutorials thanks to Pinterest. Last January I bought a Nikon D3100 and have been so intimidated by the all the buttons I have barely taken it out of Auto mode. My husband is wedding DJ and wants me to take photos of him working! Being around professional photographers is intimidating and rarely are they willing to offer tips of the trade (after the event of course, I don’t bother them during the wedding).
    Your tutorials have been fantastic and thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    Thank you Thank you!!

  88. HI Aimee…
    I am working with a Canon Rebel xti and I can set my WB on auto but I can’t seem to find how to set the ISO to auto. I only have the options of 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600 … am I missing something!? Thanks!

    • Jodi…I’ve just recently learned that the Canon Rebel xti doesn’t have auto ISO. You are totally right. Craziness! Let me know if you need more tips on adjusting it! XO, Aimee

  89. Haley says:

    I just bought a Nikon D5100. I have no idea how I stumbled upon this blog, but I am beyond happy that I did. Im reading each week! Thanks so much for all of the help. I hope once I learn all this, I can go on teaching others!!

  90. Thank you so much for these lessons! My husband just bought me a new (used) camera two days ago (Nikon D7000) and I really want to take photos of my kids growing up. I’m so intimidated by it and I know it’s way more camera than I could ever need. I am currently practicing your aperture lesson on apples! I am so excited that I found your blog on Pinterest! I totally appreciate you doing these lessons and I am so excited to take my camera off of auto!!! Thank you again! I can’t wait to conquer this!

  91. I’ve been following you for a while, but I just found your photography series (thanks Pinterest!) I’m SOOOOOO excited, because I just decided to make the leap from P&S to manual shooting (I’m getting a bridge camera– the Sony DSC-HX100V for Christmas) but I’m really nervous about all the settings and such. I was afraid that I’d just chicken out and leave it in “auto” most of the time, but now that I’ve found your well-explained photography lessons, I think I’ll be able to figure it out 😉 Thanks for giving confidence to a “newborn” photographer like me! 😉 And I can’t wait to get my camera and start actually going through the exercises you give!

  92. Deborah rosa says:

    When I put my camera on A it will not let me put ISO on
    Auto – the lowest is 100 – I have a Nikon d80 – any suggestions
    D. Rosa

    • Sorry I’m so slow getting back with you…I’m answering your question in a post this week!

  93. Aimee,

    I just found your blog and am very excited to find something that is in “regular” English instead of “technical” English. I have had a D5000 for several years now and have played a bit but not much. I would really love to learn how to use my camera to its best advantage but in reading some other sites it seems as tho there are not many lenses that would work well with this particular camera and then transfer once I upgrade. Could you recommend a good 55m lens that would work for what i have now and what I intend to purchase at a later date (D7000). Thanks so much. I am looking forward to working my way through all of your lessons in hopes that it will help me become a better photographer.

  94. Rob says:

    Hi, my wife just discovered your pintress site and sent me the address. I have had some cameras in the past started out with a Brownie and have worked my way up to Canon AE1, AV1 and a A1. Then a few years back my wife wanted a DSLR camera and she found a Nikon D40X that she loved but did not understand the workings of it. I recently bought a Canon T4i with EFS 18-55 and a 75-300 lens. Im still learning all of the buttons and how to take great photographs. So far I find the BLOG very interesting and Im refreshing some of my old knowledge and skills.

  95. Stephanie says:

    I am working with a Nikon D40. After turning the dial to the aperture setting (A) and putting white balance on auto I tries to set the ISP to auto as you instructed. However my screen says “this option is not available with current settings.” Have I done something wrong?

  96. Colleen says:

    Wow…if they had explained it like you did it would have totally clicked. I just have one question: when attempting the exercises which lens would you recommend…I am using a Nikon D90 and I have a 50mm 1.8 and an 85mm 1.8…thanks in advance

  97. Rachel says:

    I found your blogs this past week and have decided to go through each one to learn more. I have a Nikon D60 and when it is set on A the ISO cannot be set to auto. The choices are: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and Hi 1. The automatic selection is Hi 1, but would another selection work better for this assignment?

  98. Renee Smith says:

    Wow…thank you so much! I have a Canon PowerShot G12. Before I invest in a better (more exspensive) camera I really want to know how to work it…. I love taking photos of my son, especially close-ups. My lens is 6.1 – 30.5 and I was looking at a compatible 50mm normal lens. Would that be a good option for me? I also love to take beach (scenic) pictures and wondering if that same lens would help those images as well. Thank you sooo much and happy new year!

  99. I need your advice! I have a Nikon D5100 and I am a brand new learner. I DO want to take photos where I focus on one object and the rest is blurred… do you have recommendations on what type of lens I should look into? I also want one where I can zoom in better. My previous point and shoot (also a Nikon) had a great zoom on it and I miss that. Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Sorry I’m so slow getting back with you…I’m answering your question in a Q&A post this week!

  100. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks so much for doing this series! I stumbled upon your blog through pintrest, and just at the right time! I got a Rebel t4i for my birthday, and have had no clue how to use it. I am thrilled to find a blogger who can explain in easy lay terms! Keep up the fantastic work!

  101. Ian says:

    Hey! Love the writing style and your approach, I’m working on a Nikon DS40 that I got for Christmas, and found your blog at a perfect time!

    I don’t want to overstep, but wanted to recommend that you throw the blog through spell-check before you publish. I do a lot of content editing for websites and that nature of thing, and I think it would just catch a few glitches that eyes don’t normally catch.

    Great blog! Thanks so much!

  102. beaudene says:

    Very practical. Love it. Great for beginners. Love it when you use ur own photos to give examples. It really helps 🙂

  103. MIchele says:

    Well we all know why we’re here – um, because your blog is AWESOME. I am a complete amatuer ~ I mean seriously lowest of low. I have a Canon S5IS and it is nothing fancy at all. In fact this thing is almost as good as my iphone. I just recently discovered the lense can be taken off after oh, 3 yrs of owning it. My question is Can I do these wonderful shots that everyone seems to have talent for on Pinterest for my own personal satisfation with this camera. It has Av/Tv/M settings etc. I try the Av and it seems very “noisy” any f stop I use regardless. Am I supposed to be zooimng in? So sorry for the novel but I seriously drool (&dream) over your photos.

  104. Jan Orr says:

    Thank you so much for this “down to earth” photography course. I have read books and online sites and then set my
    D3100 to AUTO and go take pics! Thanks again.

  105. sabika says:

    hi,
    I just stumbled on your blog and I love it. Such easy explanations for doing photography. I have a cannon EOS50D and a EFS 17-85mm lens, are these both good enough for carrying on with your lessons?

  106. Emily says:

    Thanks for all the help : ) you explain this really well

  107. Fletcher says:

    Thanks so much for doing these posts! My camera (d90) is changing my shutter speed in the top left corner (yours says 100). Am I doing something wrong?

  108. Cierra says:

    I tried this activity tonight indoors with my D90… I followed the instructions but my pictures all turned out so different. Some of them were so black I couldn’t see the subject, and some were perfectly lit. It’s almost as if the camera wasn’t adjusting the shutter speed properly?

  109. rachael says:

    I have anikon p510 and can’t get it to go any lower then f3.0. Sorry to sound uneducated but the last photography class I had was in 2002 and I just got my camera as a gift. So when you go up in the aperture the lens will zoom in right?

  110. Amber says:

    Hello. Just started following your blog. Need some help! What picture size/quality should I have my camera set to. Someone had told me RAW but my computer (iPhoto) won’t let me upload those to edit. Please let me know!! Thanks! I have a canon rebel t2i and I’m just getting started 🙂

  111. Lisa says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for this great explanatory blog! I have glanced at a couple other ‘teaching’ pages, but I can’t turn your page off. I have been reading it for two days and I am learning so much! I am so excited! I do have a question. I have a Canon Eos Rebel XSi. I am using the kit lens (I know! I have been told how terrible they are), it’s a 18-55mm, and the lowest f-stop I can get to is f/4.5. I also have a 75-300mm, which is great, but my question is…what kind of lens will let me get a lower f-stop? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer! I am also hoping you can direct me in what kind of other lenses you would recommend, but I have not read through your entire blog yet, so I don’t know if you put that information somewhere, and I hate to clog you up with stuff you have already talked about, so just ignore that one if it’s mentioned later. Thanks again!

  112. Pattie says:

    Thank you Aimee. I have been using a Canon EOS for over 20 years. I purchased the Canon EOS Digital about 6 years ago so it doesn’t have video or as much on it as in the picture of your Nikon. I still love it. I am pretty good at composition but I almost always use my camera on full auto. I stumbled across your blog on Pinterest. I so appreciate your down to earth way of explaining how to use these amazing cameras. I did the assignment on Aperture and was very pleased with the results. I can’t wait to continue learning from you. I too love photography, my husband, my kids and Jesus!!

  113. Tash says:

    thankyou thankyou thankyou! just bought an slr (nikon) and this blog is exactly what I needed 🙂 you rock!

  114. Whitney bullock says:

    Hi! Great tutorial! I have the Nikon d 40 with the 18-55 mm lens and a lens to zoom. Do you know if switching lenses will give me the option of getting a lower aperture? I could only get down to about 4. If not what lens is comparable to do such things! Or will we learn more on how to blur the background? I appreciate your time.

  115. Hi Aimee & Stud

    I really love this tutorial. It’s as if you made it especially for me.;-)
    Thank you for making the time to write this up!!
    I am also an assistant, working with my photographer hubby and had alot tiffs (that lasted so long)because he tried to teach me about the mechanics of DSLR’s.

    Cant wait to show off my fancy skills to the “photographer”.

    • LOL! That’s awesome! Thanks for taking the time to leave a sweet note…It made Stud and I laugh! We can so relate! XO, Aimee

  116. Robin says:

    I am so excited to find this. I bought my camera (Canon Powershot SX50HS) as a birthday present to myself in March when my family forgot my 50th birthday. I felt like I wanted to shoot someone so the camera seemed the easiest way to shoot and not go to jail! 🙂 I love my camera and am excited about learning to use it. I use my camera primarily for sports photography (3 soccer players, 3 baseball players, and 1 basketball player)and to take pictures of my 16 yo daughter and her 15 month old niece, my sweet granddaughter. We are part of a ministry program at a local university and have “adopted” 7 student athletes. They are part of our family. So, I am really interested in some action photography as well as portrait/random life shots. Thanks again!

  117. Sara says:

    You’re amazing!! I have been searching for something like this for ages!! Thank you so so so much!!!

  118. I just found your website and I am thrilled to finally have help with my camera. I have a Nikon D90. I take thousands of pictures and seem to be doing great with it but I still have so much to learn. Hoping that you will be able to help me. I love the pictures that are blurred in the background but am NOT successful at it. I also have a hard time with night shots. My camera it yelling at me to do something with it but I don’t know what it wants. Looking forward to the lessons so I can use my camera the way it is intended. I mostly shoot family photos, but that’s not to say if I have my camera anything is my victim. LOL anyway, thank you for this tutorial.

  119. Alicia says:

    I love it…….thank you so much….just did all 20 pictures..or so…and truly saw the difference while aperture changed…. Thanks so much…can’t wait to learn more… This is Great!

  120. Quinn says:

    My husband just bought me a Nikon camera for Valentines Day, and I’ve been so overwhelmed every time I turn it on! Your tutorial has saved me, and I finally feel comfortable with the aperture setting! Can’t wait to learn more! Thank you!!

  121. Love, love, love this, thanks for sharing, I am going to be testing this out this weekend as I am a new photographer and love any tips I can find!!!

  122. Lydia Wagner says:

    Bobby’s dinosaurs are my subjects this afternoon! Very excited to be playing with my new Canon!! I am so glad you did these tutorials. I’m going to do one lesson each week to really let it sink in!!

  123. deblync says:

    I happened onto your site from pinterest and I just LOVE the way you explain everything! Years back I went for actual classes and learned NOTHING– FEELING LIKE A BIG DUMMY! So far I truly understand your examples and feel confident that I can do this! THANK YOU AND KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

  124. Noelle says:

    I bought a new Canon 70D. It came with a lense that says EFS 18-135mm. . . Which type of lense do I purchase next? I remember in the second lesson you stated 35-55mm… is there a certain brand that will be best for my Canon?

  125. Pinterest is my best friend. LOL. I had just been telling someone the other day that I always only find tutorials for Canon. And you happen to have the same exact camera I do. I am sooooo happpy you did these tutorials. Thank you. (My manual is packed away and I couldn’t figure out how to set ISO or anything. <3 And I just today had your pin on my feed. Imagine the odds. =)

  126. Courtney says:

    I know this is years later but I came across this blog and I am so excited to go through your photography classes. I received a Nikon D3200 for Christmas and I am so excited to use it but I have limited experience, hence my excitement when I came across this awesome blog!

  127. Samantha T. says:

    Hey! I realize it’s 3 years after you wrote this blog originally, but I found it on pinterest as I just got my first dslr (nikon d3300 with 18-55mm kit lens) and I love it! Your tuturials have made me love it even more as I am now just understanding it. I took mine from f3.5-f22 (wasn’t sure if going up that high would make a difference) and I really see a difference! Unfortunately unless I’m SUPER close to an object I can’t get the blurred background say for a portrait, but once I’m ready for the 50mm lens that should hopefully be resolved?

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