Aperture Studies (Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime)

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Good Morning:

Is it just me, or have the weekly Challenges become, well–challenging?

Night photography has always baffled me; even when the results turned out well in the post on fire spinners, it took over 200 shots just to finish with a handful of acceptable pictures. Aperture has always baffled me; a low number means what, a high number means what, why do camera speeds change with aperture changes, uh, how does that work again?

Might as well make a Challenge twice as challenging and combine my personal challenges.

San Francisco on overcast nights takes on the colors of the San Francisco Giants (who are back in the playoffs, yeah!): lots of orange in the blackness.

Out of 40 shots taken at 1:00 a.m., 9/28/2014, the most accurate terms of color.

Out of 40 shots taken at 1:00 a.m., 9/28/2014, the most accurate terms of color. 0.5 sec exposure.

Hardly a great shot, of course, but it gives you an idea of how the city looks from my fire escape. One huge problem consisted of the camera’s refusal to take any pictures depending upon the composition (which objects were in the shot). This angle was the only one that let me take pictures at any setting.

My ancient Nikon D40 DSLR has 17 aperture settings ranging from f3.8 to f22, so the project presented itself: one shot at aperture setting, letting the camera adjust time of exposure on its own, then crop and convert to B&W in iPhoto and see what happens. The results present some subtle differences, even though the camera auto-focused on the same area in every picture, the cluster of lights in the upper right quadrant.

San Francisco, 28 September 2014, f3.8

San Francisco, 28 September 2014, f3.8

San Francisco, 28 September 2014, f13

San Francisco, 28 September 2014, f13

San Francisco, 28 Sept 2014, f22

San Francisco, 28 Sept 2014, f22

The f3.8 has the softest focus, the f22 had the longest exposure yet turned out darkest, and the f13 turned out brightest. Still baffled; just have to keep on practicing. Fortunately, photography has a tendency to become more enjoyable the more it baffles me. A good thing, right?

Vonn Scott Bair

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Nighttime | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  2. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Nighttime | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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