10 Vital Facts about Camera Aperture
The aperture of a camera is the centre of the photographic universe.
Well maybe, the other centre as some would argue, is the shutter.
No matter, let’s continue as if we haven’t heard Mr ‘some would say’ and show you 10 Vital Facts about Camera Aperture.
The Aperture and the Heart
The aperture is pretty much like the human heart, not at a lot goes on in the body without it.
With your heart, almost everything you do relies on the heart beating at all. Then it needs to beat the correct rhythm to ensure what you want to do can be done.
It’s often how fast your heart beats that will determine how quickly you can run/walk/cycle up that hill for example.
So, it is with the aperture.
If that’s not set properly then the image you get is not what you were expecting.
Therefore that you won’t be happy with the end result. Especially if the subject you may never get the opportunity to photograph again.
So, what’s the 10 Vital Facts about Camera Aperture?
- The aperture is hole that allows light into the camera sensor that dictates the end result.
- It’s adjustable. You increase or decrease the hole size to get the effect you want.
- The amount of light the aperture lets in affects your ability to keep the camera still enough to get a crisp shot.
- Contrary to the general belief it’s the aperture not the auto or manual focus that is a major factor in what is in focus and what is not
- Aperture is measured in f stops. Confusingly for anyone just getting acquainted with it the lower the number the bigger the hole or opening.
- Each f stop doubles the size of the aperture when reduced or halves it when increased.
- Depth of field (DOF) is controlled by the Aperture
- A large DOF F22 reduces the aperture opening and puts everything in focus from the point of focus to infinity
- A small DOF F1.8 increases the aperture opening and just puts the closest item focused on in focus.
- The lens you use affects the lowest aperture setting. You may have one lens that will have a minimum setting of f1.8 whilst another could be f4.5
So why do you need to worry about those 10 Vital Facts about Camera Aperture?
Well if you are using auto on your camera, you don’t!
But if you want just a small degree of control then adjusting the aperture is a good place to start.
Of course, there are filters (and apps for the smartphone users) that you can use to give you some basic creative control.
But even the best don’t offer the sort of creative control that you can get by understanding how aperture works.
This shot of a toy soldier was taken with a large aperture (small f-stop).
The shot just below was taken with a small aperture (large f-stop).
If we look at the uses for a small DOF (refer to no 9 above), then you could take an image of, say, someone you came across in your travels. Or it can be anything from a piece of Jewellery to food in the market place.
On the other hand, you could take a wide angle shot with a large DOF (no 8 above) of a building or a landscape with everything in focus with a small aperture.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post and found it useful
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For some further reading check out:
Understanding the 3 points of the exposure triangle
Learn how to use aperture priority in 15 minutes
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