Effects of Aperture Settings on a Photo’s Exposure.
The Aperture is the opening in the lens of your camera which allows the light to enter the camera. Basically, when you hit the shutter button a hole in your camera opens up and this can vary in size according to what you set the aperture at. The aperture is measured in terms of f/stop which is counter intuitive, because the size of the opening (hole) increases as the f/stop decreases.
Aperture value also determines the depth of field (DEF). The depth of field refers to the distance over which certain objects that appear in the frame will appear in sharp focus. Lower f-stop values correlate with a shallower depth of field.
A shot which is said to have a deep depth of field would be an image where everything that is seen through the lens of the camera is in focus, whilst an image with a very shallow depth of field would have only one segment of the image in focus (foreground) and the rest would be blurred.
When the button is pressed to release the shutter, a hole pops open and allows the image sensor of the camera to capture the scene. Adjustment to the aperture affects the size of the hole to be opened. If the adjustment has been decreased, a larger hole will be opened and therefore more light will be allowed into the camera. If the settings are increased a smaller hole will be opened and this will result in less light being allowed into the camera.
For example, the aperture value f/1.4 is larger than f/2.0 and much larger than f/5.6.
The aperture setting on your camera is one of the most powerful elements in determining the exposure of an image.
Therefore, if you want to be a professional photographer, you will need to master how to make manual adjustments correctly on the aperture.
So start by learning about, and having a basic understanding of what aperture actually is.
Although the aperture sounds a little complicated in theory, the best way to start truly understanding any element of photography is to practice, practice and practice some more.
One helpful way to get more of an idea is to go and find a frame that is not likely to move. So maybe some scenery, with different elements in the foreground and the background. Practice taking different shots of the scene, changing the aperture setting and then look at the effects.
It may help to note down the sequence of photos taken and the camera settings next to them.
One thing I will admit, most of the time I leave my camera in automatic. So I never think of f-stops or apertures. But I do think about depth of field. But in this context, I like my big 70-200mm lens, which I use for portraits of people. By standing far away from the subject, I can get their face nicely in focus, with a very pleasing blur of things further in the background. It’s a hallmark “look” of professional photography for portraits.
I remember being interested in Cameras 30 years ago, and back then, it was important to know about apertures. I used to know this stuff. But I have forgotten most of it, and who cares, because if we ever have a question, we have google on our phones, to get the answer quickly.
Here’s an example of sharp in-focus foreground, (my hair and stubble are easily visible), with the background slightly blurred. Normally this would be a throw-away photo, because the eyes are closed, but I kind of like it.