Messing about with Aperture

What is Aperture?

Recently i’ve been messing about with aperture (also known as f-stop) and seeing how it affects my images. I wont even attempt to explain the science behind it, so instead here’s a nice youtube video:

Now the science bit is over, i’d like to introduce you to my model for today: my chilli plant. The sequence of imsges below show the same image (of said plant) at F/4, F/11 and F/22. The images show just how huge an effect the aperture has on the depth of field of the image.

f-stop

Depth of field is the area of the image in focus in relation to the subject, in the 1st image (f/4) the plant is in focus, however the background is clearly out of focused and blurred. The second image (f/11) shows the subject in focus, but background detail is better resolved and clearer (you can make out the fence in the background). The third image (f/22) has the greatest depth of field with all detail equally resolved.

Whats the point of it?

Aperture has a couple of good uses, using a large aperture (f/2 or below) will isolate a subject from its background – this is ideal for portraits, making the subject jump out at you. Equally using a large aperture (f/16 +) will render all background in focus, which is ideal for landscapes where maximum detail is required.

The other use of aperture is in low light situations like night photography, using a large aperture will allow you to use a quicker shutter speed and avoid blur.

Thanks

Gary

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