How to use Aperture to take Amazing Photos?

One of the major ingredients of The Triangle of Photography is Aperture. Aperture along with the shutter speed and ISO constitute the triangle of photography. Each component determines the final exposure of the photo and plays a vital role is getting an amazing and correctly exposed picture. Now let us talk about Aperture in detail. I'm sure that many of you have wondered about How the photographers take these astonishing pictures with the main subject standing out prominent ahead of a blurred background behind? Some of you might also have found it hard to use the camera in manual exposure modes.

And whenever you failed to correctly expose your image, you must have asked yourself, What is reason behind some of my pictures being overly exposed while others stay under exposed when I try to use the manual mode of my camera. If have thought about either of the above mentioned scenarios and faced difficulty in such situations, you have come exactly to the right place! In today�s article we will be defining all the aspects of aperture to develop our desired skill in photography that will help us in overcoming our above mentioned problems.

Aperture Size:

The opening of the aperture or so to speak the aperture size is defined as numbers in photography. These numbers are termed as f-number or f-stops. These numbers are a simple way of describing how much the aperture's hole is open to let the light into the camera. The important thing to remember here, which confuses many of the new photographers, is that smaller the value of the f-stops , more the opening of the aperture and lesser the opening of aperture, greater the value f-stops. So as a rule of thumb remember that : Aperture value (f-stops) and aperture opening are inversely proportional to each other Now many of the new photographers really confuse themselves with this concept as they expect the aperture to be widely open in case of higher values of aperture (f-stop) but you know now that it's not the case. The reason for this inverse relationship is that the f-stops or f-numbers are in fact fractions. Take for example f-stops of 2.8 and 22. Now f-stop of 2.8 actually is f/2.8 and is a larger value than f/22. Following is the sequence of standard f-stops which come from a geometric sequence with powers of square root of two: f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128

Perfect Exposure:

In manual modes of camera, aperture values can be manipulated to achieve the subjective value of perfect exposure as per the photographer's creative needs. In case of a correctly exposed picture, you get a particular correct exposure value (EV) for a particular combination of aperture, ISO and shutter speed settings. Now from this correct exposure scenario , keeping ISO and shutter speed constant, if the f-stop is reduced to make the aperture more open than before and letting more light pass onto the image sensor, the image will start to become overly exposed. Now to compensate for that aperture change and to again achieve the correct exposure, we will have change the value of either ISO or the shutter speed of the camera.

Also from the correct exposure scenario, keeping ISO and shutter speed constant, if the f-stop is increased to make the aperture smaller than before and letting lesser light strike onto the image sensor, the image will start to become under exposed. Now to compensate for that aperture change, we will have change the value of either ISO or the shutter speed of the camera to achieve the correct exposure again.

Focus Area:

Not only does the aperture affect the exposure of the photo but it also affects the area under focus of the image. The jargon used for the area under focus is called depth of field or simply DOF. What you need to remember is that, lower the value of f-stop; meaning wider the opening of the aperture, lesser the depth of field or the area under focus and higher the f-stops; meaning a smaller opening of the aperture, higher the depth of field or the area under focus. As a rule of thumb: F-stops and focus area of the image are directly proportional

So if you want to reduce the focus area of your image and you want to confine it to the subject in front and expect the background to be blurred and out of focus, we need to reduce the f-stops as much as possible, with a lower ISO and faster shutter speed values to compensate for the aperture values and hence achievement of correct exposure. I am sure that you all would be extremely eager to go out now and try out different aperture settings. So don't just sit there. Pick up your camera and have fun playing around with different aperture settings.

Written by: Rajesh Bihani, New Delhi, India

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice