Friday, January 8, 2010

Comparing Apertures

Aperture is defined as the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken.
(A good place to read more here)

This is my brief attempt to help you understand what aperture is.  My ‘aha’ moment was from a blog post I read last year (wish I could remember where!) that was brief and had pictures to support the data. 

Although I am trying to shoot in manual mode only (M on the Nikon dial), I frequently shoot in Aperture mode (A on the Nikon dial).  In my opinion, aperture allows you to tell the story how you want to.  You can choose to have one point of the picture clear and spotlight that subject (large aperture = small f #), or you can choose to tell the story of the scene and have the entire frame clear (small aperture = large f#).

It is confusing, but the more you read and the more you practice, the more sense it will make!


Jan08 Jan08_1 Jan08_2

      f /2.2     shutter 1/320   ISO100                       f/4.5     shutter 1/80   ISO 100                f/6.3     shutter 1/60    ISO200

          low f- stop = large opening                         higher f-stop… notice slower shutter       higher f-stop … look at background!

                      fast shutter                                                and background not as blurry                raise ISO to keep shutter speed 1/60



f/14.0    shutter 1/100  ISO 1600 (high iso=faster shutter but = lots of digital noise.  Just look at the vase – looks grainy)

I am fortunate enough to own a lense (the one I shoot with 80% of the time) that allows me to close my aperture down quite small (big big number!).  Just look at how much of the background is included in telling this story.  Looks like a nice, sunny day for a BBQ, eh?  Guess again – it’s 25 degrees outside!  But you get my point anyway.

Hope this post helped you along on your photography journey!


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