Interstellar Star Gazer
August 16, 2020
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A Beginners Guide to Camera Aperture

Author: Administrator
If you're just starting out learning photography, then you've probably noticed that photographers have a language all their own. Camera aperture, for instance, is one of those terms that gets thrown around quite a bit without any sort of real explanation. Not to worry though, for we've compiled a handy beginner's guide to aperture that should help shed a little light on the subject. Here is a breakdown on what aperture is, how it works, and why you want to use it:

Camera Aperture Explained

Put simply, aperture is an opening in your lens that allows light to come into contact with your film. The opening can be changed using your camera's F stop or if you have a digital camera you can change it using the manual settings. Some digital cameras even have a fixed aperture mode that lets you pick the aperture and the camera automatically figures out the other settings.

Aperture is measured in "F" numbers, which usually show up on your camera as F8 or F/8 or some variation on the theme. As the value of the F goes up, the amount of light allowed into the camera goes down. For example, an F value of 1/4 is a wide open aperture while 1/22 is considered as closed as possible.

What Does Aperture Do?

Your camera aperture can make a significant impact on the quality of your photograph. A closed aperture will allow very little light into the camera, which will in turn give you the opportunity to expose the film for a longer period of time. Adjusting the F value is an effective way to use slow shutter speeds and long exposures without overexposing your image.

Additionally, using aperture allows you to react on the fly to changes in lighting. If you're photographing in a bright environment, a high F stop (very closed aperture) will give you the chance to use slower shutter speeds. In contrast, when shooting in a low-light environment, opening up the aperture to a very low F value will provide you with greater flexibility in capturing your image and may even save you from requiring a flash.

Why Should I use Aperture?

Although you can change the aperture any time, it's not something that you have to change. Many SLRs adjust the aperture automatically to great success making it easy not to worry about it. However, if you want more direct control over the depth of field in your image then you can manually adjust the camera's aperture. An open aperture will show very little depth of field (subjects that are near the camera will be very clear while the rest is very blurry), while a closed aperture will make your photographs seem more detailed.

Knowing when and how to adjust your aperture is a powerful tool in any photographer's bag of tricks. One way to see how it affects your picture is to take two images - one with a low F stop and one with a high F stop. Aperture is a great way to expand your creativity with the simple change of a setting.


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