From farmers markets bursting with color to picturesque landscapes and rich sunsets, Hawaii offers endless opportunities for anyone passionate about photography. In order to not miss any great shots you need to keep your camera in hand at all times, which is exactly what I did when visiting the Big Island earlier this year. I had only been shooting in manual mode for a few months when we arrived and was anxious to apply the new things I had learned. Practicing my photography skills at both the crater floor in Hawaii’s Valcanoes National Park and the waterfalls in the Tropical Botanical Gardens challenged my understanding of lighting and exposure. It was the vast array of little critters however, that were the perfect subject for perfecting my understanding of aperture. For anyone unfamiliar with the term aperture here’s my attempt at an explanation.
Photography 101 – Aperture
Aperture, or f/Stop on your camera setting, is what dictates the amount of light coming into your lens. How much light you allow through your lens impacts how much of your subject is in focus which is referred to as your depth of field. For instance when taking landscape pictures you most likely would choose a small aperture (larger f/stop number) which let’s in less light creating a larger depth of field. By choosing the smaller aperture the entire landscape remains in focus. For isolating a particular subject, such as my little critters in this example, you may want to use a larger aperture (smaller f/stop number) for a more shallow depth of field so that your subject is very clear and the background is out of focus or blurred.
These little guys are fast! Luckily I came across this one who seemed to be asleep or maybe just content with soaking in the sun. I was happy because it gave me time to take a few different shots with various settings to see which I liked the best.
I found this cat in the Japanese Gardens and had to stop and stare at him for a minute unsure if it was real or not. It did not move at all, except for a little flick of his whiskers, no matter how close I got to him.
This bird was comical. He would hop back and forth along the pipe suddenly stopping from time to time and stare at his reflection. He would then sing a little melody as if to say “hello” and continue hopping. This went on for some time. For this particular shot I used a smaller aperture (again that’s a larger f/stop number on your camera setting) to make sure I had a larger depth of field in order to capture his reflection clearly.
It required a lot of patience to get a good shot of these fast little crabs. Lying flat on the sand, much like a hit man waiting patiently for his mark, I finally took the shot and was able to catch this guy. They pop in and out of the sand so quickly that I couldn’t figure out what it was they came to the surface for and why they would go back down what appeared to be another crabs hole. I could only image the vast underground mazes, they call home, just below me.
If you’re trying to better your photography, be sure to check out fellow travel bloggers at Beers & Beans.They offer one of the best how-to photography books I’ve read called Getting Out of Auto. With a perfect balance of written and visual examples this e-book is in-depth yet easy to understand. I refer to it all the time!
Say hello in the comments below and share which critter was your favorite!
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