Workshop 102: Focal Length and Aperture

A workshop devoted to focal length, angle of view, aperture, and depth of field.

A cam­era is noth­ing with­out a lens. This work­shop will intro­duce you to the fun­da­men­tal role the lens plays in both the art and craft of pho­tog­ra­phy.

$78 plus tax.


This 3-hour photography workshop presents the following:

  • How to iden­ti­fy and describe your lens
  • Focal length and angle of view
  • Aper­ture and its effects
  • Shoot­ing in Aper­ture Pri­or­i­ty mode
  • Depth of field
  • Tak­ing pho­tos with selec­tive focus (blur­ry background/foreground)
  • Tak­ing pho­tos with deep focus (sharp through­out)

Recommended prerequisites

Work­shop 101: Cam­era basics


Con­tem­po­rary cam­eras are mar­vel­lous feats of elec­tron­ic engi­neer­ing. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the only redeem­ing qual­i­ties of the instruc­tion man­u­als shipped with cam­eras are their seda­tive qual­i­ties. Good jokes aside, cam­era user man­u­als are mediocre at both guid­ing you towards, and clear­ly explain­ing, the core pho­to­graph­ic func­tions. Some­what iron­i­cal­ly, an instruc­tion­al man­u­al is more like­ly to pro­vide users with a pre­cise break­down of dif­fer­ent video com­pres­sion for­mats than explain why F-num­bers express aper­tures. Expo­sure Ther­a­py to the res­cue!

In this sec­ond instal­ment of our four-course series of pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops for begin­ners, you will dis­cov­er the main pho­to­graph­ic fea­tures and poten­tial of your lens. The work­shop will start by explain­ing how your lens’ focal length, in con­junc­tion with your camera’s sen­sor size, deter­mine the angle of view. Then, we will review how the aper­ture influ­ences expo­sure and use that as a spring­board into a dis­cus­sion of its sec­ondary char­ac­ter­is­tics, such its effect on per­ceived sharp­ness, aber­ra­tions, vignetting, and, last­ly, depth of field and selec­tive focus.

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

Important Details

Accepted cameras:

  • All brands of dig­i­tal cam­eras are accept­ed for this work­shop
  • This course is designed for DSLR and mir­ror­less inter­change­able lens cam­eras, and enthu­si­ast com­pact cam­eras.
  • Con­tact us if you’re unsure about your camera’s suit­abil­i­ty for this work­shop.

What to bring:

  • Cam­era
  • Lens(es) (this work­shop is all about the lens; bring sev­er­al, if you have them)
  • Bat­tery (ful­ly charged)1If 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

What to wear

Most of our pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops fea­ture out­door exer­cis­es to apply the the­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts into prac­tice. Mon­i­tor the weath­er fore­cast and ensure you dress appro­pri­ate­ly for the conditions—especially on cold days.2Please 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/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 1417 Dan­forth Ave (at Monarch Park Ave) in Toronto’s east end (5-min­ute/300m walk from the Green­wood sub­way sta­tion).

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 500m of a TTC sub­way sta­tion.

Cancellation and refunds

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.