What is aperture on my camera?



And why should I even care about aperture anyway?

There are three interdependent variables in digital photography.

Shutter Speed

Aperture (f-stop)

Film Speed

Throughout the pages of this site I talk about how these three interrelate. For now just remember each will affect the other two. When you understand and find the correct balance your snapshots will transform into photographs.

The f-stop decides what is in focus and what is not. That is why you should care; unless you don’t care what your pictures look like.

If that is the case, then quite frankly, maybe you’re on the wrong website. There’s a multitude of more entertaining sites than this if you have no interest in the end result of your photos.

On the other hand if you are here seeking simple steps to achieve professional looking photographs, you are in the right place. f-stop variations will go a long way toward that end.

Take a look at these two pictures. Which is more professional looking?

Other than the position of the bird, know what the difference is? The f-stop. Yep, that’s it! The only difference. They were each taken within seconds of the other. Both were taken on a tripod using the same camera and lens.

Notice how rich the top one looks. Notice how the top picture has real and noticeable depth and dimension. Pay close attention to the water pipe. That has not varied between the pictures. Yet in the first picture it has life. In the second picture it is flat and lifeless.

The difference is very noticeable at this tiny size. Imagine the difference at 8”X10” or larger.

The things in your picture that are in focus…

as opposed to those that are not, is known as depth of field. That is the distance from your lens that things come into focus and the distance they once again go out. Depth of field varies in length and position.

It can start several feet from your lens and end shortly thereafter. It can start, let’s say, at 50 feet and end at 70 feet. Or it can start right out of the lens and go on to infinity. It all depends upon the f-stop you choose and your focal length.

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