Covid Photo Journal – A Mode

My next assignment was to shoot in A-Mode, or aperture priority mode. This mode seems to be useful when depth of field is important. I’ve been struggling to comprehend the terminology for depth of field, but I think a shallow depth of field is when the subject is in focus and the rest is blurry, and this is done with a large aperture number, which, confusingly, is the smaller numbers.


april week 1_1

I started in the apartment attached to my house which is patiently waiting renovation. I was a little more conscious of composition for this shoot. I listened to music while I shot which really helped me focus. This shot had a broad depth of field, but I guess it didn’t really matter since the subject was flat. This wall is probably the most urban looking thing that I own.


april week 1_2

This chair came with the house. It’s a typical retiree throne and I felt bad getting rid of it. We put it on the lawn for free but nobody wanted it, including us. We stuck it in the apartment during a snow storm. It’s basically waiting to die. This is its purgatory. I wanted the shot to reflect this sad reality. The windows in the back are a problem, something a lens filter probably could have taken care of.


april week 1_3

This pile of pink insulation looked organic to me. Like a decomposing beached whale. It looks like the house has died and this is the effect of postmortem bloat. The image didn’t really take advantage of any depth of field tricks, but I thought the content was interesting.


april week 1_4

This used two techniques I recently learned. One is the obvious depth of field trick, using a large aperture to blur the background. The other is to move the camera after it has already focused, putting the subject off to the side of the frame. The windows are an issue again, but I think this photo turned out pretty good.


april week 1_5

More of that gross housing mass. I used a large aperture (number? This is why aperture terminology is confusing. The aperture itself was small, but the number was large, and I don’t know what the traditional way to refer to it is.) because I didn’t want any single part of the mass to be in focus, I wanted it all in focus if possible.


april week 1_6

I tried to focus on the canister in the back of the frame and have the foreground in focus, but I don’t think I quite pulled it off. This may have been a case where it would have been useful to switch into manual focus.


april week 1_7

Sweet texture here. I think, again, a different lens would have been cool. It feels futuristic, but I wanted it to look a little more dystopian given my current circumstances. The lighting is almost there.


april week 1_9

Here’s our shitty closet that collapsed while we were cleaning out the rat skeletons. I like the symmetry here, but I’m not sure that the mood of the photo matches the content. It’s a cool idea, but a little lazy.


april week 1_10

Classic depth of field pic. Pretty good, pretty plain.


april week 1_11

This was another one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that I was unable to capture, but at least I tried this time. There is a flock of turkeys (flock? gaggle?) somewhere in this picture. Between the two signs if you squint. There are stories of dolphins returning to the canals in Venice and other wild animals roaming the streets of major cities. I don’t know if there is a correlation between the lack of human activity and the return of these turkeys, but it took a pandemic for me to see them at least.


april week 1_12

I think I nailed this one. Jill’s dinner in the well-lit foreground, my hungry dog glaring in the background like Eve eyeing the apple. I love everything about this and I think the depth of field worked.


april week 1_13

Jill’s Covid notes and folders with natural coffee stains and everything. I made Jill wait to clean this up so that I could get a photo of it. I rushed the photo a bit and didn’t really think it through, but it was something that I needed to capture. 


What I learned was that aperture is hard. It looks like I’ll normally use it for exposure, but it can be fun to use to play around with the focus.

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