A Is For Aperture!

I’ve joined a little bloggy challenge and link up!  I’ll be joining other bloggers of the internet as we create blog posts related to letters of the alphabet. It’ll challenge me to bring you even better and more creative content.  For the letter A I thought I’d give a bit of photography tutorial… A is for Aperature!

Aperture, also known as F-Stop! It is a common photography term.  One you should know if you will get the most use out of even many point and shoot cameras.

Wikipedia defines aperture as a hole or an opening through which light travels.  It also says… a wide aperture results in an image that is sharp around what the lens is focusing on and blurred otherwise.

Essentially a wide aperture makes a very large hole through which light can travel into your camera.  A very narrow aperture does not let much light in at all.

So what does that mean?  It means that if you set your camera to a wide aperature (a low F/stop like 1.4 or 2.8) then the only thing that will be in focus in your photo will be in focus.  Everything else will be blurry.  As a side… the camera will let in the most light.  Wide apertures are GREAT for low light situations.  I use wide apertures a lot in portrait photography or anytime I don’t really want to see much of the background in my photos.

On the other hand… narrow apertures (or high F/stops like 10 or 12 or 16) will produce a photo where EVERYTHING is in focus.  The camera actually let’s in very little light so this is not ideal for low light situations at all.  It is great for landscape photography however.

Let me show you what you mean.  I took a series of photos of my son’s Empire State Building Model.  Hopefully this will help you visualize what I am trying to describe.

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This photo was taken with an f/stop of 1.4.  You can see that the ONLY thing in focus in this photo is the model.  Everything else is blurry.  This can really help draw the eye to just what you want your viewer to see.

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This photo was taken with an f/stop of 3.2.  That is still a pretty wide aperture and most things are still blurry, but not quite so much.  This time you can probably make out the numbers on the side of the box on the little table to the left.storyboard-861

This photo was taken with an f/stop of 5.6  We are starting to close down the aperture now.  A lot more is in focus in this photo though not everything.  My son, in the background, is still a bit blurry. I typically us a 5.6 when photographing groups of people.  If I use an aperture that is too narrow I risk having some people in the shot come out blurry.  That is never a good thing.  storyboard-862

This photo was taken at an f/stop of 16.  We have really closed down the aperture now.  Everything is in a pretty good focus.  Even my son in the background can be clearly seen though he is still dark.  Remember, an aperature like this let’s in little light.  I was using my speed light just bouncing it from the ceiling.  The light from that really isn’t reaching that far back into the photo.

So there you have it!  A is for aperture… now… what will I do for B?

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