Week 2-The Aperture

Welcome back. This week we are going to talk about the aperture. The little hole in your camera that lets light in.

The aperture, like the shutter is in the camera lens. It is made up of a number of small blades that create a circle, or rather a more octagonal shape. The aperture is made up of a number of small blades.  The more blades, the the rounder the hole will be.  

The aperture also affects your depth of field, which in layman terms means how much of your subject is in focus.

 Shallow depth of field.

Shallow depth of field.

Deep depth of field.


The smaller the f-stop (aperture) the shallower the depth of field at close range.   

Now, I don't want to bore you & I believe you understand the basic concept by now, so here is an experiment you can do to better understand how the aperture affects your image.

First we will discuss how you can experiment with an slr. The Av mode is aperture priority.  You might need to use your camera manual to discover how to control the aperture on your specific camera. 

For a point & shoot  you will be able to play with varying depth of fields by playing with the macro setting and the portrait setting.  These two settings will give you a more shallow depth of field than the standard auto setting.

No matter what kind of camera you are using you can see what your camera is doing by doing the following experiment.

Take photos of the same object at the same distance but at different f-stops (or different settings on your point & shoot).  Then you can adjust your distance from the object and perform the experiment again.