Cody James a Calgary based photographer who has been shooting photography in Calgary for over 6 years shares #11 of 25 in his series helping fellow photographers.

Number 11 in this 25 part series is straight forward, but sometimes difficult to grasp for new photographers!

When composing photographs, you often want to find a focal point, especially when shooting at certain apertures i.e. f/1.8 – If you’re not familiar with apertures, I’d highly suggest checking out this article which gives a solid summary of aperture, or head over to this Wikipedia page for a more dry, but informative run down of aperture and why it’s important to know as a photographer.

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In this photo there are really two factors that drive how I shot this. The lighting conditions were poor, so I was lucky enough to have my Nikon D700 with me, this allowed me to put the ISO into higher ranges (2000) without getting a grainy image, and a fast lens which allowed me to shoot at F/3.0 – In using this aperture setting, I was able to have a portion of the Buddhas body blurred out, giving more focus on my focal point (the hands) and thus getting the image to have a sleek depth to it.

If you’re just beginning in the photography world, I highly suggest you bust your camera out of Auto mode, shoot in manual, and experiment with shutter speeds and aperture settings, you’ll learn and master your camera much faster and have ultimate control over the images you shoot. Once you’ve grasped that, get your focus clear, and start shooting, proper aperture settings can turn a so-so image into a piece with tons of depth.

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