Sep 08 2006

All about Aperture

Published by at 5:17 pm under Better Photos

One of the most confusing concepts to beginning photographers is aperture. However, once you learn to use it and the field-of-depth feature on your camera, you can create better photographs than you would be simply using the automatic setting on your camera. Aperture helps bring your subject matter into focus, meaning that you’ll take more stunning photographs.

The most common apertures to use are mid-range, from f8 to f11. Known as a “sweet spot” in the photography world, this is the automatic depth-of-field most cameras use if you do not change the settings. By using a mid-range aperture, your picture will be generally balanced, focus-wise at least. This is a good range to stay in for most photography, especially if you do not have the time to set aperture after every shot. It’s fine to use the automatic feature, in other words, because it will serve you well in most cases.

More creative photographers, however, may want to change the aperture to shoot stylized photographs. First, you can shoot in large apertures-f2.8 to f5.6-which will produce photographs with a low depth-of-perception field. In other words, use this option if you want to shoot a subject matter that is very close to your camera. When using a large aperture, things close to the camera will be sharp and in focus, but the background will be blurry. Large apertures are most commonly used for photographing wildlife and portraits.

Small apertures do the exact opposite. An aperture from f16 to f32 will draw you into the picture by creating sharp focus in most of the elements in the frame. Larger depth-of-perception fields are created, and so your picture will be very realistic. Most landscape photographers use this when shooting so that you get a sharper image, even with items in the distance such as mountains.

Overall, the aperture capabilities on your camera should be studied so that you get the perfect shot when you need it. Learn about how to change aperture and depth-of-perception fields quickly so that your photographs will reflect a little more originality than if you were simply using the automatic feature. Aperture can help turn a good picture into a great picture, and you should carefully review your options before buying a camera so that you can be sure to get the quality aperture features you want or need for your specific use when taking pictures.

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