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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 • Small class­es • Pro instruc­tor

I’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, I’ll 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 my series of pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es for begin­ners. You’re wel­come to take one, some, or all of the class­es at your leisure; how­ev­er, I rec­om­mend tak­ing mul­ti­ple cours­es in their cor­rect order.

Enrol in Work­shop 102 as part of my 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:

  • All cam­eras capa­ble of man­u­al mode.
  • All brands of dig­i­tal cam­eras.
  • Con­tact me 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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Ready to start understanding photography?

Join the 100s of stu­dents who’ve improved their pho­tog­ra­phy with Expo­sure Ther­a­py.

Work­shop 102: Focal Length & Aper­ture

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The scope of our photography lessons

At Expo­sure Ther­a­py’s pho­tog­ra­phy cours­es, I focus on build­ing a strong foun­da­tion in pho­tog­ra­phy that will work well with most cam­eras. How­ev­er, to ensure a con­sis­tent and pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence for all par­tic­i­pants, I can­not cov­er every fea­ture of every cam­era. If you have an advanced cam­era and would like to learn more, I’d be hap­py to offer pri­vate pho­tog­ra­phy lessons that explore those fea­tures in more depth.

What to wear

This is an out­door pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop, so it’s essen­tial to check the weath­er fore­cast and dress appro­pri­ate­ly for the con­di­tions on the day of the work­shop. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant on wet days, so bring weath­er-appro­pri­ate cloth­ing to stay com­fort­able and pro­tect your equip­ment.3To ensure the best per­for­mance of your cam­era dur­ing the work­shop, I rec­om­mend bring­ing two or more ful­ly charged bat­ter­ies.

Meeting point and workshop location

My work­shops are held out­side and involve walk­ing to dif­fer­ent loca­tions. Please note that some places we vis­it may not be ful­ly acces­si­ble.

In the event of bad weath­er, I may need to change the meet­ing loca­tion for the work­shop. I’ll inform you in advance if this hap­pens and will ensure the new loca­tion is easy to get to by pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

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).

Cancellations, refunds, and rescheduling

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

  • All sales are final, and no refunds are giv­en if you can­cel.
  • If unex­pect­ed issues occur, you can resched­ule up to 24 hours before your group pho­tog­ra­phy work­shop is sched­uled to start.