Photography Project: Distance and Focus (Av mode)

Your camera has many different modes. For this project, you will use the Av mode.

Av stands for “Aperture Value.” Av mode lets you set the size of the aperture, and the camera adjusts all the other settings for you. As your aperture gets smaller, your camera’s sensor will need more light to take a picture.

Supplies needed

  • a DSLR
  • a tripod


Part I: Experiment

  • Set your camera up on the tripod
  • Set your camera to the widest focal length your lens will allow. The wider the picture, the more “zoomed out” you are.
  • Put your camera in Av mode.
  • Set your camera for the widest aperture your camera will allow. Remember, apertures get smaller as the aperture number gets larger. 3.5 is wider that 16.
  • compose a picture that has an object as close as the camera will focus AND an object far away. The distant object can be very large, like a house or a mountain.
  • Take a picture
  • WITHOUT MOVING THE CAMERA, set your camera to the smallest aperture your camera will allow. Take another picture

Compare the two images. What happens as the aperture gets smaller?

Why change the aperture?

How does changing the aperture change what you look at in the image?

Part II: compose

Create two images that use aperture size to guide the viewer’s eye when they view the images.

Part III: Submit

Turn in 5 pictures: your three experiments, and your two speed shots.