The best way to learn about aperture in photography – complete guide
Aperture is one of the components of exposure. Other components of the exposure are Shutter speed and ISO.
Capturing right amount of lights in photography is really important. So you have to master with these three components to take better photographs.
If you haven’t read our shutter speed article makes sure to read it to better understanding about shutter speed and how you can use it correctly.
In this article we are going to cover what the aperture is, what is the ISO in photography and how you can use them correctly to take very beautiful images.
What is aperture in photography?
Aperture is a hole which is in lens and can be controlled size of it. You can take brighter images or bluer background images by changing aperture size.
If aperture is big, it means background of your image is bluer (shallow depth of field).
If you use a small aperture, it means your images are bright (wide depth of field).
When we talk about the aperture size, we called it as f-stop, for examples: f-stop1.8, f-stop22. But in generally, we say like f1.8, f22.
If your f-stop number is small (f1.8), it means your aperture is wide open. Let say you have a big f-stoop number which means your aperture is small.
It is very easy, only thing you have to keep in mind is that if it is a large number like f22, it is a small aperture. If your aperture number is small (like f1.8), your aperture is a large (wide open).
You can control amount of the lights which get into the camera by changing aperture size.
If you use an f1.4 it means your aperture is big and we called it narrow depth of field. Don’t confuse with depth of field, just keep in mind. We will look at what is the depth of field with more detail a little latter.
If you use a small f-stoop number which means more lights get into the camera. You can use the shutter speed and ISO to control lights, when you use a small f-stop number, you can use a fast shutter speed to decrease lights or you can decrease the ISO range.
But it’s very important to keep ISO as low as possible, unless your images are noisy. Try to keep a good balance between ISO and Shutter speed.
Which Shutter speed and ISO range you should use will depend on the situation that you shoot. If you don’t know how shutter speed work, you can read our shutter speed article.
Next, let say, you use an f22 (big f-stop number) which means your aperture is very small and your images are bright (not bluer).in this situation, you may need more lights, so you can jump ISO up or use a long opening shutter speed. The best way is practice to better understanding these concepts.
What is the depth of field?
Next, let’s look at what is the depth of field and how you can use it.
Take a look at the image below.
Narrow depth of field.
What has been done over the image is that used a large aperture and has been focused on the cup. You can see the cup, which is bright but around the area is blurry (out of focus). We called it narrow depth of field. You can use a big aperture (small f-stop number) to get beautiful blurry background, like F1.8.
Large depth of field / deep depth of field
The below image, you can see the all image is bright and sharp. We called it wide depth of field (Large depth of field / deep depth of field). If you want to take sharp images you can use a small aperture but keep in mind, when you use a small aperture, it means less light get into the camera. So, you can use a slow shutter speed to let more lights into the camera or you can increase ISO range.
Most landscape photographers use small aperture when they want to show sharp background and foreground.
What is ISO?
ISO is the sensor sensitivity to lights. ISO allows you to take photos under low light condition. The native ISO of cameras is 100. ISO brightens your images artificially.
Let say you are shooting under artificial lights with ISO 100 but when you are shooting low light condition ISO 100 is may not enough.
In this condition, you want more lights to bright your image, so you can jump ISO up upon your situation.
Which ISO setting you should use is depend on the situation that you are shooting. Most cameras have been included Hi-ISO setting but make sure to use correct ISO range, if not, your images will be noisy, so don’t use too much ISO.
Anyway, if you are not sure which ISO range you should use, use Auto ISO because auto ISO does a great job most often.
I suggest you to keep ISO as low as possible because you can use shutter speed and aperture to increase lights when you shoot under low lights condition.