If you have a kit lens...Set it on 17mm, because Wide angle lens's will have more in focus at Higher f/ numbers (smaller hole). Set the lens on f/16 and the camera on AV mode (aperture priority) and focus on the trunk. because it is about the center of the things you want in focus. Should work for what you want..
AV mode means that YOU select the f/number and the Camera selects the shutter speed.....
VERY SURPRISED you wife DOES NOT KNOW THIS BASIC FUNCTION !!!!! AND HOW TO EXPLAIN IT !!!Sorry for all Caps....NOT Yelling...but emphasizing Like BOLD type.Peter .
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Enjoy your photography images, even if your wife doesn't ! ;-(http://laurence-photography.com/http://www.pbase.com/peterarbib/Cameras in profile...
I have been shooting for a number of years, but have never reallyunderstood the fundamentals of photography..
A first place to start would be this site at:http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/ under Exposure..
In any lighting situation, there is a correct exposure, but there are several combinations of shutter speed and aperture that gives that same exposure..
Say f/8 at 1/100 second is right in some situation..
Then also f/11 at 1/50, or f/5.6 at 1/200 is also right. One aperture stop is either 1/2 or 2x the light, allowing either 2x or 1/2 the shutter speed. So several correct combinations are possible. We can choose the one that does what we want to do..
Our priority might be wanting a fast shutter speed to stop a race car..
Or we might want a slow shutter speed to blur a waterfall..
Or we might want a small aperture (up towards f/16) to maximize depth of field (your goal this time)..
Or we might want a large aperture (down towards f/2.8) to minimize depth of field, maybe to throw the background out of focus..
Aperture Priority means you set aperture (like to set f/16), and the camera light meter will figure out what shutter speed to match it for correct exposure. Shutter Priority means you set shutter speed, and the camera figures out aperture (for a correct exposure)..
You want more depth of field this time, so you want an aperture up towards f/16, which is aperture priority. Focus in the middle of the range you want, the tree trunk this time, and the depth extends either side of it. Technically, you often get a range about 1/3 in front and 2/3 in back of your focus point, so favor the front side a little...
Thanks so much for your response. My wife apologized to me this morning for being so impatient with me. I love her, so it doesn't matter.. That is exactly what I was looking for. I have a 28-110 lens, I think. Just a basic one.
If you don't mind another question, let's say I am shooting a seashell on the beach. I want the sea shell in focus, probably about 4 feet away, and everything in focus to the horizon. What would you suggest I shoot in that case? What I am trying to do is get a few scenario's , so that I can say 'Ok, I am in this situation, so this is what I should set the camera on' As I get more familiar with what does what, I can experiment then. Thanks again..
Thanks for your response. I think I got it and will try as soon as it stops raining. The nice thing about the photo I wanted to take is that where I am shooting is my back yard. Peter also responded with the same camera settings, so now I know what to do. I asked him a question which I would also like your opinion on also. I will paste it below..
F you don't mind another question, let's say I am shooting a seashell on the beach. I want the sea shell in focus, probably about 4 feet away, and everything in focus to the horizon. What would you suggest I shoot in that case? What I am trying to do is get a few scenario's , so that I can say 'Ok, I am in this situation, so this is what I should set the camera on' As I get more familiar with what does what, I can experiment then..
F you don't mind another question, let's say I am shooting a seashellon the beach. I want the sea shell in focus, probably about 4 feetaway, and everything in focus to the horizon. What would you suggestI shoot in that case? What I am trying to do is get a few scenario's, so that I can say 'Ok, I am in this situation, so this is what Ishould set the camera on' As I get more familiar with what does what,I can experiment then..
Same f/16 for the property of maximized depth of field, but focus farther back beyond the shell. Hard to give you a specific distance here..
How many feet farther back depends on the focal length of your lens, and it's aperture used. Lenses used to have the little colored marks by the distance scale to show depth of field for the various apertures, but zooms complicate that, so few do it now. If you focus at say 15 feet, this is really a range or zone of depth, not one precise value. Then depending on lens focal length, maybe you have sharpness and depth from say 6 feet to 30 feet (I made up these numbers). If you need to include infinity at the far end of your depth zone, this is called Hyperfocal focus distance (search Google for hyperfocal). For any specified f/ aperture, hyperfocal is the closest focused distance that also includes depth to infinity at the far end...
It may or may not be enough at your close end, depending on lens focal length and shell distance. You want your shell to be within the near distance of the depth range..
Maybe in real world, experiment, try a few different focus distances past your shell, like focus at 5 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet, as seems appropriate. Idea is that the horizon at infinity is at far end of depth zone, and nearby shell is within near end of same depth zone. You may or may not have enough range, but f/16 and focus somewhat beyond the shell is how you try..
There is a simple chart at http://www.dofmaster.com/charts.html.
Which shows (as currently marked) that shows hyperfocal focus at 17 feet for a 50mm lens at f/16. You can choose other values, and there is also a calculator there (and on other sites too) that can be more specific to your distances..
If pointing the camera down to the shell on the ground, so there is no horizon or distance, then of course there is nothing at a distance beyond the shell, and you focus on the shell...
Getting the depth of field you need used to be as easy as using the depth of field scales on your lens. These started disappearing as zooms and autofocus took over from manual focus primes. Your camara, however, has a mode that automatically sets the camera to keep everything it sees at is focusing points reasonably sharp. I don't own the camera, and can't vouch for how well it works, but it might be worth experimenting with. Here's the description from the DPReview of your model:.
Automatic Depth-Of-Field AE.
This mode, seen before on other Canon EOS cameras automatically controls the depth of field to ensure that all the subjects covered by the focusing points, from those close to the camera to those far away from the camera remain sharply defined (are within the depth of field)...