May 10 2021
3 What is Aperture?
The holy trinity of photography is aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The three work together to create your images, and all three control how much light the lens lets in to the camera. Today we’re going to discuss aperture – how to understand it, and how to use it to enhance your photography.
Put simply, aperture is the most visual of the three basic pillars. It can produce wonderfully blurred backgrounds, with only the main subject of your image in focus, or it can bring everything into focus from the nearest tree to the furthest hill in the same image.
Aperture is actually the size of the hole within your lens, which lets light into your camera. The larger the aperture, the more light you let into your camera, and vice versa.
Watch a video tutorial about aperture and read more here: https://photographyandfriends.com/how-does-aperture-work/
The Confusing Relationship Between f-stops and Aperture
Does the explanation of what aperture is sound simple? It is – but where it can get confusing is when you apply f-stops to the different sizes of aperture. An f-stop, also known as an f-number, is a method of describing the size of the aperture, and the misunderstanding can arise because a smaller f-stop number means a larger aperture, hence more light getting into the camera. A larger f-stop means a smaller aperture, meaning less light getting into the camera.
Most people are used to larger numbers representing more of the same thing, but in aperture and f-stops that’s not the case. If you consider that f/1.8 is larger than f/4, and much bigger than f/8, it’s easy to see the potential for confusion.
Depth of Field: What it is, and How You Can Use it to Create Impact
Depth of field is basically using your aperture to control how much of the shot is in focus. The size of the aperture has a direct relationship to how much or little of your image appears sharp.
For instance, a large f-stop such as f/22 (which lets less light in than a lower f-stop) will give you an image with all the foreground and background in focus. Most landscape images are shot with a higher f-stop.
A small f-stop such as f/1.8, on the other hand, will isolate your subject from the background and blur everything that is not on that plane of focus. Think of close-up portraits where only the eyes are tack-sharp, and everything else gradually falls off into softness.
We hope this episode teaches you how to understand aperture yourself.
About this podcast:
Are you a beginner photographer who wants to learn how to improve your photography? This is the perfect photography podcast for you.
In this podcast series, you'll learn how to expose with your camera - using the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. You'll learn about composition, and what it takes to compose a better image using photography rules of thumb, as well as knowing how to break those rules. And finally, you'll learn how to tell stories with your photos.
If you want to take your photo skills even further, head over to PhotographyandFriends.com for free tutorials, premium courses, one-on-one coaching, and the friendliest photography community online.