Introduction to Aperture - Part 1.
In this introduction to aperture I’m covering the bare bones basics of aperture, f-stops and depth of field (dof). As I go on with this series I’ll go into detail on aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I’ll break it down in small bites so it’s easy – honest! Your photos will thank you immensely if you follow along.
For simplicity sake, let’s consider aperture numbers from f/2 to f/16.
It’s a bit confusing so don’t go glassy eyed on me. A small f-stop is f/16 and a large f-stop is f/2 with a bunch of f-stops in-between. This is important to memorize. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. Why is 16 smaller than 2? Looking at the Chart below, you can see that f/16 has a tiny grey dot in the middle and f/2 is completely grey. These grey areas represent the amount of light the lens lets into the camera at these settings. The amount of light that enters the camera's lens has a huge impact on your photos.
Aperture, or f-stop, helps control:
- How much light enters your camera.
- Depth of field (DOF).
Don’t let me lose you here but a very low number like f2.8 is called a large aperture opening. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. We’ll cover this in each series on aperture.
Depth of field is how much of your photo is in focus vs. how much is blurred.
Want a blurred background? Use an aperture like f/2 for a narrow depth of field (dof). Portraits are especially nice using a narrow dof. The narrow dof in a portrait draws the viewers attention to the subject not the image background.
Distracting backgrounds are also a great reason to use a narrow dof. The background in this photo would have been of parked cars if I'd used a wide dof.
Apertures like f/16 and f/22 are called small or narrow aperture openings giving you maximum or wide depth of field, where everything is in focus. Again, see the Lens Aperture Chart.
Again, a very low number like f/2 is called a large aperture opening and gives a narrow (blurred) depth of field. An f-stop like f/16 is called a narrow aperture opening and gives a wide depth of field with little or no blur. See the Lens Aperture Chart below. We’ll cover this in each series on aperture.
Simply put, for this first lesson, aperture controls light and blur or lack of blur in your photo. More detail to come next lesson.
I’ll let you digest this, and next time, more on aperture setting and coordinating with Shutter Speed setting.