Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO are the three key components used to create a correctly-exposed image. In this blog, we explain what aperture is and when and how you would use it to style an image.
What is Aperture?
Aperture refers to the hole in your camera's lens. The size of this hole can be expanded or reduced by using a dial or button which will control the amount of light that hits the camera’s sensor. Each change in the size of the hole is given a number, and these numbers are called f-stops.
Photographers often use the terms f-stop and aperture to describe the same setting. It’s important to remember that while they both refer to the hole that allows light to enter through the camera lens, the way that they are described is different.
Open or Closed Aperture
If a photographer wants an open aperture, they are looking for a low f-stop or if they want a closed aperture, they want a high f-stop. Or simply put, increasing the f-stop reduces the aperture and decreasing the f-stop increases the aperture.
Aperture also has the ability to adjust how much or how little of the photo is in focus. As the f-stop is decreased, it also decreases the detail which is in focus in the image. This draws the eye to a particular area of detail, such as the face in a portrait. This is often used in landscapes and cityscapes where there is a desire to have as much detail in focus as possible. This focus style is known as depth of field.
The rule to remember is the lower the f-stop, the brighter the image and the shallower the depth of field, and the higher the f-stop, the darker the image and the deeper the depth of field.
Good practice is to set your aperture to a mid-range f-stop of F8. This gives you room to further adjust your aperture depending on the amount of light needed for a correct exposure and the amount of the image you want in focus.
To learn how you can further develop your photography skills, check out our range of courses.