Welcome to the second segment of my photography education! This week I am going to be talking about the use of Aperture for Photography.
I have been scouring the internet for good photo tutorials, and found Its Overflowing to be a great resource for simple, easy to follow explanations of important photography techniques.
Here’s what I learned this week: One of the building blocks of good photography starts with the exposure triangle.
What’s the Exposure Triangle?
Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO all control different function of exposure. By mastering these three elements, you will see a dramatic improvement in the quality of your photographs!
Today I want to talk about Aperture!
What is Aperture?
Aperture is “the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken”1
Adjusting the aperture allows us to let in different amounts and directions of light. A narrow opening will give us a high aperture while a wide opening will give us a lower aperture.2
Photo from: Wikipedia
One of the major influences that Aperture has is Depth of Field (DOF). The DOF determines how focused the objects in our photo are. A large DOF (large aperture) will result in most of your photograph being focused, conversely, a small DOF (small aperture) will result in your focal point being sharp, and the rest of the image will be blurred. This is an incredibly useful skill to have, and allows for some creative photographs.
Aperture is measured by using f-stops. Some examples of f-stop measures are: f/4.5, f/7.1, f/11, f/16, and f/22. As mentioned above, a narrow hole is represented by a high aperture, for instance, f/22. A wide hole is measured by a small f-stop, such as f/1.4. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but you’ll get the hang of it with a little practice.
How to set Aperture:
Each DSLR camera can vary, but most camera’s aperture settings are indicated with an “A” or an “AV”. To select the mode, turn the mode dial to “A” or “AV”. Set your White balance and ISO to automatic.
Peer through the viewfinder. Shutter Speed should adjust automatically in this mode, so you can see the full impact of your changes to Aperture. Adjusting the main command dial will increase or decrease the aperture.
Photo from Imaging Resource
Now it’s time to practice!! Get out your DSLR and setup a few pieces of fruit in a row. Adjust your aperture starting with low, then going to high to see the difference aperture makes!
The images below demonstrate the depth of field differences correlated with different aperture settings. Each picture represents a different f-stop.
Lower aperture would be ideal for up-close photos of food, a portrait, or other small objects. Higher aperture would be great for landscapes or other large scenes you want captured in great detail.
Anxious to learn more photography tips? Next up is: Shutter Speed
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