Exercise 2.7


“Use a combination of small apertures and wide lens to take a number of photographs exploring deep depth of field. Because of the small apertures you’ll be working with slow shutter speeds and may need to use a tripod or rest the camera on a stable surface to prevent ‘camera shake’ at low ISOs. Add one or two unedited sequences, together with relevant shooting data and an indication of your selects, to your learning log.”

For this brief,  I was able to actually get out in the car and take some pictures of Dartmoor. (Technically I was on a golf course which features sheep and ponies meandering amongst the bunkers) All the pictures are taken just yards from my car. Its was really lovely to escape from the confines of my house!

I don’t yet own a tripod, so I had to be careful that my shutter speed didn’t go too low.  And I don’t have a wide angled lens,  just the kit lens that came with the camera but never having used one, I was happy enough… As it was sunny, it was hard to view my images after I had taken them, and it took me a while to realise the lens hood had crept into some of the pictures. Arrgggh. I didn’t realise this could happen, so will try to watch out for this in future.

Generally these images are taken at my smallest aperture, which is f/32. The ISO varies between 200-400, and the shutter speed between 1/30th sec – 1/100th sec. I varied the ISO in case I was getting some shake at the slower shutter speed but it was fine. I kept the white balance on Auto.

I have simply re-sized these pictures in photoshop, with no fiddling or cropping so here they are. The contact sheets first…



And a few I’ve selected to discuss….

This is known locally as The Pimple. Its not particularly steep, but its the main sledging spot around here in winter. I wanted to be dramatic with the portions, but I’m not sure the foreground mud is all that appealing! I like the little building on the horizon though. It would be interesting to crop this.


I was conscious that it had been suggested in our course notes to include something interesting in the foreground.  At the first this was tricky, and all I had was some golfers in the mid ground. So I changed location and tried again.

The sky was stunning with these lovely clouds. I found this large gorse bush and experimented with portrait and landscape. (NB earlier attempts feature the lens hood, and a nice pile of animal poo in the foreground)

I think this one works best


The horizon is not far off half way in the photo which isn’t ideal, but framing this in landscape gives an idea of the sweep of countryside.


Just when you need to find ponies they all disappear…but I managed to stalk one. The backdrop is against the edge of town, which possibly proves that the location I was in looks pretty in any direction. It would have been nice to see more of the pony’s face, as she’s in shadow. But I do like the cast shadow on the ground.


I caught the side of my car in shot a few times, then passing traffic, and finally, these pictures. The tree is typical of dartmoor – they are usually a solitary few.  Amazing that many centuries ago it was a forest.

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I loved getting outdoors, and I’m fairly pleased with my first dartmoor landscape pictures in Aperture Priority.  Dealing with the settings is becoming slightly less confusing, and I felt I learnt quite a lot during this afternoon – namely watch out for where shadows are falling, keep note of the horizon line, beware the lens hood, and keep trying!

It was also a challenge to think creatively about where I could park and position myself within a fairly small radius of the car. As my walking ability isn’t great, I wasn’t free to wander for miles to find the ‘perfect spot”. In a funny way this restriction at least made me work with what I had and make quick decisions. I can imagine that if I was free to roam long distance perhaps you would over-think it all and faff about?! I don’t know, but it was lovely to be here, its so beautiful.





Exercise 2.6

“Use a combination of wide apertures, long focal lengths and close viewpoints to take a number of photographs with shallow depth of field. (Remember that smaller f numbers mean wider apertures.) Try to compose the out-of-focus parts of the picture together with the main subject. Add one or two unedited sequences, together with relevant shooting data and an indication of your selects, to your learning log.”

The available human being was my partner Steve. He really hates his photo being taken,  hence the pose. I’ve just bought a set of macro lens filters as an inexpensive way of taking close-ups, so this was my opportunity to play with them, while he tried to ignore me. He was most comfortable deep in thought looking at his phone while I took close ups of his ear!

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This would have been a lovely pic, but for his hand?!

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By this level of magnification, I was struggling to find focus

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