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102: Aperture and Lens

Learn all about the lens and dis­cov­er the cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties of the depth of field.

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$1051$89.25 when pur­chased as part of the 4‑course bun­dle. • 3‑hour course • Lim­it­ed to 6 stu­dents • Pro instructor

We’ll dispel the common misconceptions and teach you everything you should know about lenses, from focal length and exposure to perspective and depth of field.

This course intro­duces the detailed fea­tures and artis­tic pos­si­bil­i­ties of lens­es. Learn about the aper­ture and its effects on expo­sure. Dis­cov­er how to manip­u­late the depth of field to achieve selec­tive focus with a blur­ry background.

102: Aper­ture & Lens

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Learn about focal length, f‑stops, and depth of field.


What you’ll learn

  • How to iden­ti­fy and describe the essen­tial char­ac­ter­is­tics of any lens
  • How focal length and image sen­sor size affect the angle of view
  • How to use aper­ture pri­or­i­ty (A or Av) expo­sure mode
  • How to manip­u­late depth of field
  • How to take pho­tos with blur­ry back­grounds (selec­tive focus)
  • How to take pic­tures that are sharp through­out (deep focus)


In this pho­tog­ra­phy course, you’ll dis­cov­er the main pho­to­graph­ic fea­tures and cre­ative poten­tial of your lens. The work­shop will start by explain­ing how your lens’ focal length, in con­junc­tion with your camera’s sen­sor size, deter­mines the angle of view. Then, we will review how the aper­ture influ­ences expo­sure and use it as a spring­board to dis­cuss its sec­ondary char­ac­ter­is­tics, such as its effect on per­ceived sharp­ness, aber­ra­tions, and vignetting. Last­ly, you’ll learn about depth of field and how it’s used to iso­late sharply focused sub­jects against out-of-focus back­grounds or increase the per­cep­tion of sharp­ness through­out the entire composition.

Dur­ing the prac­ti­cal half of the work­shop, you’ll be briefed about using aper­ture pri­or­i­ty mode (A or Av expo­sure mode) to explore and apply the con­cepts learned in the first half of the les­son to real-world photography.

Important details

This is part two of four in our series of pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es for begin­ners. You’re wel­come to take one, some, or all of the class­es at your leisure; how­ev­er, we rec­om­mend tak­ing mul­ti­ple cours­es in their cor­rect order.

Enrol in Work­shop 102 as part of our Intro to Pho­tog­ra­phy for Begin­ners 4‑course pack­age and save.

Work­shop 102 is also avail­able as a pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy course for 1–2 people.

Meeting Locations:

One of two loca­tions depend­ing on the time of year and weather.

April – Novem­ber: In front of The Roy­al Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music:

Decem­ber – March: The Allen Lam­bert Gal­le­ria inside Brook­field Place, just by the RBC Domin­ion Secu­ri­ties facade:

Accepted cameras:

  • We accept all cam­eras capa­ble of man­u­al mode.
  • We accept all brands of dig­i­tal cameras.
  • Con­tact us if you’re unsure about your camera’s suit­abil­i­ty for this course.

What to bring:

  • Cam­era
  • An assort­ment of lens­es. If you can only bring one, bring your most ver­sa­tile lens.
  • Bat­tery (ful­ly charged)2If you’re par­tic­i­pat­ing in more than one work­shop, please bring either your bat­tery charg­er or a sec­ond bat­tery to ensure you can oper­ate your cam­era through­out the day. 
  • Mem­o­ry card (emp­tied)
  • Cam­era manual
  • Note­book and pen
  • Ques­tions and a thirst for knowledge!

Recommended prerequisites

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Work­shop 102: Focal Length & Aperture

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What to wear

Our pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops occur out­doors through­out the year. Mon­i­tor the weath­er fore­cast and ensure you dress appro­pri­ate­ly for the conditions—especially on cold or wet days.3Please note that the lithi­um bat­ter­ies pow­er­ing your cam­era may exhib­it dimin­ished pow­er out­put in cold con­di­tions. When sub­ze­ro air tem­per­a­tures are fore­cast for the day of your work­shop, we rec­om­mend bring­ing two or more cam­era batteries.

Meeting point and workshop location

Our class­room-free work­shops take place out­doors, involve walk­ing and fea­ture loca­tions that may not be ful­ly acces­si­ble. Cur­rent­ly, we meet in front of The Roy­al Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music (273 Bloor St W, Toron­to, ON M5S 1W2).

We reserve the right to change the meet­ing loca­tion and will noti­fy you at least 48 hours in advance of such changes. A mod­i­fied meet­ing loca­tion will always be with­in 750m of a TTC sub­way station.

Cancellation and refunds 

Satisfaction guarantee

We want to ensure that you ful­ly under­stand the mate­ri­als cov­ered in our pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es. If you aren’t com­plete­ly sat­is­fied with your learn­ing expe­ri­ence, please let your instruc­tor know imme­di­ate­ly after your work­shop con­cludes. We’re more than hap­py to address any points of con­fu­sion on the spot or to offer you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to repeat the same work­shop on a future date (pend­ing availability).


Our full can­cel­la­tion and refund pol­i­cy is found in the Terms of Sale. The fol­low­ing sum­ma­ry is for your convenience:

  • We accept can­cel­la­tions for a full refund up to four (4) weeks in advance of your ini­tial­ly-sched­uled course.
  • We accept sched­ule mod­i­fi­ca­tions up to sev­en (7) days in advance of your ini­tial­ly-sched­uled course.