All About Aperture

Aperture is one of the most difficult things you will have to learn as a new photographer.

Aperture (n)- A space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera.

Are you picking up on that? If not, allow me to further explain.

The key to a good picture is knowing how to adjust your camera settings to different situations. The 3 key settings you will be messing with are your ISO (camera’s sensitivity to light), your shutter speed (how quickly your camera closes its shutter and takes the picture), and your aperture.

To put it simply – Aperture is ‘the opening of the lens’ When you set your shutter speed, a hole opens up that allows your camera’s image sensor to capture the image. The aperture depends on the size of the hole you chose.

Aperture is measured in what we call ‘f-stops’ (commonly written as f/ ). This is backwards of what you would think, but the smaller the f-stop number, the bigger the hole. The bigger the hole, the more light your sensor is getting.

If you want your subject in focus and a nice depth of field, you would opt for the smaller aperture. Smaller apertures are perfect for portraits, because they highlight the subject, and blur the background out of subject. Bigger apertures are perfect for landscapes, or something farther away, because the background won’t be blurry and you can capture all the details throughout the scene.

When I first learned about aperture, I shot all my photos with my Nikkor 35mm lens at f/1.8. This was great when I did portrait shots, but it fell flat in my landscape shots.

The more your practice with your settings, the more comfortable you will become behind the camera. Adjusting your aperture is very important because it will make or break your photos!


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