Nailed the basics? Here’s your next challenge . . . showing manual control


Congratulations on passing the basics challenge – at least I hope you did!

Spend a few minutes resting on your laurels. Then move on to this next, more challenging test.

These questions only apply to cameras with full manual control. The main ones are shown inside the red rectangle in the image to the left. These are the ones that allow you to set your aperture or shutter speed, or both, and are generally not available on point-and-shoot cameras.

The answers are not difficult if you have a good understanding of some key technical aspects of photography, your camera and your lenses. If you are disappointed with your result, just take your camera out for a spin, the pieces usually fall into place after an hour or two. Other than that – consider registering for a session or two with me, or for the spring 2014 refresher special – available to any of my previous clients. (Details in the March newsletter.)


pink_smiley_open_mouthBEGIN! (and no googling!)

A D V A N C E D     T E S T 

For any shot, when you put your camera on ‘aperture’:



 The pleasing blur (the good kind) providing the background to your subject is called:


Considering the photo in the previous question. What kind of lens was used to shoot it?


Focal length

Consider the following photo. What kind of lens was used to shoot it and what was the likely focal length when the shot was made?

  quiz which lens was used for this photo

For this photo, the photographer was aiming for the highest possible quality shot. Knowing that and the fact that the camera was on a tripod. What kind of shutter speed would you expect the photographer to have used? If you click to enlarge you’ll find there are a couple of aspects of this photo that should help you with your answer.


A photographer’s rule of thumb for shooting at a fast enough shutter speed to combat camera shake is as follows:

For any lens a good starting shutter speed will be 1/longest focal length of that lens.

So if you are shooting with a 70mm-200mm lens, what should your minimum shutter speed be in order for you to handhold without camera shake?


My camera is on Aperture priority. My shutter speed is 1/125 second.

I change my aperture from F4 to F5.6

How will this change affect my exposure?


My camera is on shutter speed priority. My shutter speed is 1/30 second.

If I change my ISO from ISO 100 to ISO 400, what will my shutter speed be?


What is the quickest way to lighten or darken a photo without changing your depth of field?


For most lenses, what will be the aperture with the sharpest level of focus?


You are shooting a landscape photograph with approximately 1/3 land and 2/3 bright sky. What can you do in camera to make sure that both the land and the sky are correctly exposed (without the subsequent use of photoshop or similar)?