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Photography Basics: What Is Aperture?

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Jordan Younce
  By Jordan Younce
Photography Basics: What Is Aperture? www.sleeklens.com

In this tutorial I will talk about aperture, what it is and how setting different values of aperture will do to you images. First of all, aperture is what people will represent as an “f’ number. When people say they are setting their cameras to f/2.8, f/5.6, or f/22 among the many others, the aperture is represented by the “f” symbol. As such, “f” means the regular aperture.

When you say you’re setting your camera at a given “f” value, what you mean is that you want the braids in the lens to either open or close down a lot.

The f-number means that the braids in the lens should open or close down to a certain extent that is represented by the value e.g. 4, 5, 6 etc. So, when people say that their photos were shot at a certain aperture such as f-1.8 or f-4, it means that the hole and the lens are going to be very wide open. This lets in more light in the image while at the same time decreasing the depth of field which means the subject and the distance behind and before it will be more out of focus than if you set it at f-18 or something bigger.

On the other hand, when people say they are setting their cameras at let’s say f-22, it means that the hole is going to be very small and thus will let in very minimal light. It will also give more depth of field with the image being more focused.
In our video here, we have a photo of a guy standing in the office and the first photo will be taken at f-4/3.5 thus making it more blurry but then if you were to take the same image at f-22 or f-16, the image will have more sharpness in the background. This therefore represents how light will come in and affect the quality of your image.

Just to represent how much light will comes in, we have another image where there is a bright sunny scene with the light directed towards the camera. Just as your eyes will react, this is what the camera will do as well. When you step into a bright sunny scene, your camera and eyes will close up. With the eye closing in, your pupil becomes very small and this allows you to decrease the light coming into the eyes which in turn blinds you when you are looking at a bright scene.

If your eyes were to stay the same as this will be at around f-16 or thereabout and you step into a dark scene, with your lens at this value, things will look very dark and you can only see a little bit of hotspots here and there. So, what you can do is to let your camera open up to more light so you have a wider aperture. This is what is represented as f.4 or f-4.6 which gives you an image that is a little bit clearer.

So, these are the basics of aperture and what they do to your image. There is whole lot more very technical and in-depth ways to look at aperture but this is basically what they do to your image. You can check out on other photography videos from Sleeklens.com YouTube channel or visit the site for more resources of photography.

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Jordan Younce

Jordan Younce

I am a Real Estate and Landscape photography as well as a Graphic Designer based in North Carolina, USA. My passion for photography started with taking photos with a point-and-shoot and now I own a successful photography business. My goal is to help others learn the art of photography, develop their creative side and just have fun.

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