What is the Aperture?

Your camera collects and monitors light using three things: shutter, aperture, and ISO. These three light gathering functions work together to balance light in order to properly expose a photograph. When using the aperture, you must determine how much depth of field (out of focus background) you want in your photograph as well as balance the amount of light entering your camera’s sensor. 

The aperture can be confusing. A lower aperture numerical such as f/1.4 lets in a lot of light and has the most depth of field.

A higher aperture numerical such as f/16 lets in a very limited amount of light and has the least depth of field.

So, as the aperture numbers get smaller, the more light and more depth of field you will produce. The opposite is true for the higher numbers. As the aperture numbers get larger, the less light and less depth of field you will produce. 

Learning to balance the light and depth of field you desire for your photograph takes a lot of practice. Understanding the concept of aperture is the first step! I have constructed a PDF that you can download and take with you next time you are out shooting as a guideline! Just click on the link below that says “Aperture”. If you have any questions contact me!



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4 thoughts on “What is the Aperture?

    • Daniel,
      For most of the wedding and portrait photographs you will be using a very wide aperture like a f/2.8. If you lens cannot go that low, then use the lowest aperture it’s able to. The lower the aperture, the more depth of field you will achieve. Just remember that will also bring in a lot of light into the camera’s sensor too!

    • For most landscape photography I recommend using f/8 – f/22. I say that because you want the entire scene in focus. Unless I’m shooting details, I won’t go below f/16. Just remember, the smaller the aperture (higher numerical) the more everything will be in focus.

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