Photo Course – Lesson Three

Lesson three of Jodi Coston’s free photography course is about lenses.  I only have two: the one that came with my D40 kit and a zoom I bought later to get pictures of the kids when they don’t know it and therefore can’t make weird faces or run away.  They are:

AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II
AF-S DX VR Zoom- NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED

At some point I knew what all those letters meant.  Now if I could just remember what the IF-ED and ED II meant….Just at the Nikon site: An ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass element minimizes chromatic aberration, contributing to superior optical performance. The IF is possibly Internal Focusing?  I would love to get a macro lens.  Wish I could get one before the praying mantises (how do you pluralize that?) hatch in the next few weeks.

The lesson also talks about tripods.  I don’t use one much.  Most of my photos are of the kids and/or nature stuff (including the pets).  Usually when we’re out at a park or in the yard.  But if I do still life or buildings I try to remember the tripod (and the timer if I have to use slow shutter speed).

The two assignments are:

Assignment 1: Set your camera up on its tripod or other sturdy object. Take a photograph using your widest angle lens possible and another using your longest lens possible. Compose them both so they are as interesting as possible.

I don’t have a wide angle, so I didn’t do this one.

Assignment 2: Again, set your camera up and take two photographs – this time they should be exactly the same, but use your aperture to make your subject the only thing in focus in one of them and then to make everything in the picture in focus in the other one. Have fun and be creative!

I tried this one, but not too sure how successful I was.  Depth of field is one of those things that I understand in theory, but not practice.  If I purposely try to manipulate the depth it never works.  But I have some wonderful accidents where I LOVE the way the DoF makes the shot.  Here are today’s examples:

My favorite DoF shot, completely an accident:



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