Baseball Field with Aperture Control

Baseball Field - Austin, Texas

Baseball Field – Austin, Texas

I’m still at the baseball field that I talked about yesterday, except, I’m attempting to make a more artistic image. Including the fencing in the foreground was part of the effect I was going for. But, how do you soften it so that, while you can still see the pattern of the chain links, it becomes less distracting?

You change the aperture setting, the size of the hole in the lens that receives the light. The larger the opening, measured in f values, the softer the effect.

In the first photo, I set the aperture to f3.5, which is the largest available opening for this particular lens. I also focused near the far fence so that the foreground fence is less in focus.

Baseball Field - Austin, Texas

I then set the aperture to f7.1, which is a smaller opening. You can see that the foreground fence is more visible. As the aperture is reduced, the light entering the camera is reduced, thus requiring a longer shutter speed to get the same overall exposure. I made all of these photos on a tripod. Moving the aperture from f3.5 to f7.1 slowed the shutter speed from 1/50 of a second to 1/12 of a second.

Baseball Field - Austin, Texas

In this final photo, I set the aperture to f16, which is the standard setting I use for most of my downtown architectural photos. At this aperture, everything from near to far is in sharp focus. The shutter speed was further reduced to 0.4 seconds.

In these cases, there is no correct setting for the aperture. It all depends on your aesthetic taste and what you are trying to achieve. For me, since I wanted to de-emphasize the fence, I prefer the first photograph with the biggest aperture.

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