Exercise Title: Learn how aperture and distance affect your image
Purpose: Your choice of aperture affects the amount of depth of the scene that is in focus. The amount of effect is not only determined by the aperture but is also affected by the choice of lens and your distance to the subject.
Method: Pick a subject that you can get close to and still photograph it from around 10 meters away. You will also need a background with plenty of pattern. Pick a focal length with a relatively ‘normal eye’ view. Take 3 images from wide open (smallest aperture number), smallest aperture (largest number) and one in the middle. For example if your lens goes from f4 to f22 then do one at f4, one at f22 and one at f11. Now move back to around 3 meters and take three more, then 10 meters and three more. Repeat this exercise with a wide angle lens and a telephoto lens.
Analyse: What is of more interest on these sets of images is not the object itself but the background. The blurred effect or ‘bokeh’ is the result of how out of focus the background is as a result of the depth of field. Make a note of what settings you like most as not all effects are the same or appeal to people in the same way.