Welcome to my very first blog series – THURSDAY TIPS. It’s pretty self explanatory really – I will be sharing the inside scoop from a tip of mine, how I learned and what works best for me. Notice the fact that this may not work for everyone, or some other photographers may disagree – which is OK because that’s what makes all of our work set apart from one another.
The first tip I’d like to cover is aperture. This seems to be one of the most highly talked about or asked question from other learning photographers. AND it can very easily set the tone for your personal style.
I’m a visual learner, and I like to know WHY things work the way they do. So to start with the basics, below is the definition of aperture.
1. an opening, as a hole, slit, crack, gap, etc.
2. Also called aperture stop. Optics. an opening, usually circular, that limits the quantity of light that can enter an optical instrument.
Most simple way of understand is: Smaller aperture number –> wider opening | Larger aperture number –> smaller opening
I know, it’s confusing, but just think about how “opposites attract”
So here’s two eamples::
The below photo was taken at f/20
The photo below was taken at f/1.8
So, you may notice a difference. The biggest difference is the depth of field. (DOF) The first photo taken at f/20 of the landscape has a large depth of field, meaning everything close to your camera and far away is in focus.
The second photo taken at f/1.8 has a very small depth of field. You notice only a few snow flakes are in focus, the rest is blurry.
To give you an example, when I take family photos – if I’m taking photos of one person, or one child – I set my aperture usually pretty “wide open” with a number like f/1.4 – 2.0 so the focus is on their eyes and face. If I have a group of 4 or 5, I bump my aperture to f/4.0 – 7.0 so that all faces will be in focus (it also depends on how close everyone in the group is standing to each other), although still getting a small amount of blurred background to enhance and focus your eye on the subjects.
So there you have it! Next week I’ll focus more on how aperture (f/stop) coincide with shutter speed and ISO.
Feel free to comment with any questions you may have on this post or suggestions for the next Thursday Tips post. Happy shooting!