10 Vital Facts about Camera Aperture

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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’.

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 and then beating to the correct beat to ensure what you want to do can be done.

Let’s face it, 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 and therefore that you can’t climb that hill at the speed you want.

So, what’s the aperture?

  1. The aperture is hole that allows light into the camera sensor and that dictates the end result.
  2. It’s adjustable. You increase or decrease the hole size to get the effect you want.
  3. The amount of light the aperture lets in affects your ability to keep the camera still enough to get a crisp shot.
  4. 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
  5. Aperture is measured in f stops and confusingly for anyone just getting acquainted with it the lower the number the bigger the hole or opening.
  6. Each f stop doubles the size of the aperture when reduced or halves it when increased.
  7. Depth of field (DOF) is controlled by the Aperture
  8. A large DOF F22 reduces the aperture opening and puts everything in focus from the point of focus to infinity
  9. A small DOF F1.8 increases the aperture opening and just puts the closest item focused on in focus.
  10. 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 it?

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.


For example

This shot of a toy soldier was taken with a large aperture (small f-stop) whilst 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, something in your business it can be anything from a tool you use to your product.

The main pool at dusk at the Capital Coast Resort in Cyprus

On the other hand, you could take a wide angle shot with a large DOF (no 8 above) of your building or workplace with everything in focus with a small aperture.


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Want a quick and easy guide to help with improving your Stock Photos? .
Then get my free "Eleven easy ways to help you take your own stock photography"
Yes please!

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