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.


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.




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