Photography discord server

I have created a new discord server for photography: https://discord.gg/pnJYuGE. Discord is a social media chat program originally designed for gamers but I believe it’s effective for chatting with photographers too :). Feel free to join.

Photography discord server rules

The server rules for the photography discord server are pretty simple: please use common sense and don’t be rude to people :).

Lens aperture, f-stop and why it’s intuitive

There are a lot of beginners in photography who don’t fully understand lens basics. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you aren’t mathematically inclined, so there’s no shame in that. I also think experts in photography get a little confused by the digits and pass that along to beginners. As a demonstration, I typed “explain lenses to me” in Google and one of the top articles I was linked to is published at masterclass.com. It’s a great article, and the majority of it is accurate but I spotted a mistake.

You’ve probably read or seen a million and one articles/videos about lens basics, but I think the way I view it is different to those. Please let me know what you think in the comments below as I don’t want to churn out content exactly the same as everyone else :).

F-stops are counterintuitive, because the larger the number, the smaller the opening

This is a quote from the article, and you might think it’s accurate, right? That’s actually wrong; the bigger the aperture, the bigger the number. Aperture values aren’t expressed like ISO with a simple number e.g. 100, 200, 400, etc. They’re a calculation/ratio/equation: f/x. F (the focal length of the lens you have mounted e.g. 100mm) divided by (the slash) a value (e.g. 1.4). If you don’t complete the calculation and you only take digits from an equation, it will seem counter-intuitive.

Aperture values are expressed as a calculation/ratio/equation

A bigger aperture gives you more background blur when all else is equal; consequently, a bigger aperture number gives you more background blur as well. They are one and the same but not if you misunderstand the calculation. It’s intuitive when you realise you’re given a calculation and not a number.

Using two example apertures, both with a 100mm lens, we can calculate dimensions… For my first two examples, I will use f/1.4 and f/2.8, where f = 100mm:

  • 100mm / 1.4 = 71.4285714286mm (this is your aperture when expressed as a number i.e. a dimension, NOT 1.4; 1.4 is simply a VALUE from the equation).
  • 100mm / 2.8 = 35.7142857143mm.

As you can see, the bigger diameter/number (71.4285714286mm) is the wider aperture and gives more background blur (all else being equal).

Why have aperture expressed as an equation rather than a dimension/number?

A number on its own would soon become confusing. Let’s pretend we have a 35mm lens mounted; f = 35mm:

  • 35mm / 1.4 = 25mm.
  • 35mm / 2.8 = 12.5mm.

A 12.5mm aperture on a 35mm lens is the same as 35.7142857143mm on a 100mm lens. As you can see, it’s awfully confusing. So it’s a lot easier to have f/2.8 shown in camera. The bigger number is f/1.4 — not f/2.8.

Canadian Trip, Models, & Photography Stuff

Hey,

Recently a photographer in the YouTube community has been accused of various nefarious deeds. It’s made me wonder about certain things and where I should go with photography :).

I want my website to offer the odd bit of information for people, in the future. And eventually I think I’d like to travel blog more with it — that was its original intention.

The theme itself kind of sucks. I’ve been patching it here and there but it’s kind of like putting duck tape on an axe wound — if anyone knows of any good themes, let me know! In some ways, I can see why people go towards sites like squarespace because they make things simple. They’re quite expensive though.

Last year I regretted not buying a keyboard and writing a kind of travel diary. I should have taken more photographs too. That said, it was a bit of a learning experience for me and now I am really excited for next year! I’d go this year, but to be blunt, I cannot afford it.

And on the topic of money… I’m thinking of selling my Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 lens. It is an incredible lens, so it’s not that I have anything against it. The Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens I own covers the focal length and aperture. It’s not as nice feeling, the sunstars aren’t as good and its flaring control isn’t as good but I have to be realistic, I think that money could be better spent on a 70-200mm f/2.8 GM lens or even a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM lens. That way, I’d be able to photograph lots of wildlife when I travel next year.

Lastly, also somewhat related to the Jason Lanier controversy is shooting models. I guess it’s made me think that there are a lot of questionable characters taking photographs of people even if he, himself might be innocent. I think I’d like to try it more, and I have some friends in Canada who said they’d let me photograph them :). So I’m kind of undecided if I’ll get an 85mm, 135mm, 70-200mm or the 100-400mm. I’ll see how funding goes, I guess. I still have a year to decide, so there’s no rush.

Basically this is a post about nothing really, haha. It’s just some thoughts running through my head.

 

 

Hike in Scotland & photography & portfolio site

Hey,

Last year I went to Canada and it was my first time travelling alone, I loved it! I now have the travel bug, but I can’t really afford to go anywhere expensive. I’m from the UK and I’ve been to all of England but not Scotland.

When I went to Canada, my photographs were compromised because I hiked many, many miles each day. I don’t regret my trip at all and I can’t express how much I enjoyed parts of Canada. However, I’d like to take more professional photographs and I have a different goal in mind for my next adventure. This time I’d actually like to hike a bit one day, camp, take photographs the next, and hike the day after or something like that. Whatever I do, I want to make the trip more about photography and less about the hiking. Taking photographs at 2pm? Yeah, not cool (especially with a bear nearby).

Do you have any experiences hiking in Scotland? Are there any places you recommend where I can float around the area and no one mind if I camp there?

Portfolio site update

I have another update regarding my new site I’m creating. I’ve made a cool menu system I’m pleased with. I should probably get some screen recording software and show it on YouTube, but hopefully it’ll be done soon. It’s kind of a 3D effect :). You can see it if you follow my instagram and view the story (if you follow me, let me know and I’ll follow you back. I don’t pay an awful lot of attention to instagram).

When my new website is done, I can go back to taking photographs. At the moment I’m coding day and night, haha. I feel a bit ashamed with this site, because it’s a bit sloppy.  After a while, I would really like to make a new theme for it but obviously income comes first. When I make the new theme, I’ll completely remove the portfolio page from it and use my other site to display my photographs. This has a lot of bugs in general, although it displays okay on a 1920 x 1200px screen.

My absolute dream would be to get good enough at landscape photographs such that I can sell them in an online store, and then travel for half of the year, haha. I think I’ve been watching too much YouTube.