Photography 101 (Aperture)

A lot of people has been asking me to teach or even help them understand some of the pictures I taken. So I decided to dedicate some time to imparting some of the photography knowledge that I acquire over these few months. Just in case you guys are curious, I have never gone for any lessons before. I use google, youtube, books and experiments to understand everything on my own.

The Golden Triangle
Photography consist of 3 basic and most fundamental settings – Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO which is known as the Golden Triangle. Each of these settings when altered individually will affect the other 2 settings. I will discuss each setting in detail then follow by a discussion on how each affects the other.

Aperture: It is the size that your lens can open/close till. (diagram below)
Aperture

This aperture is determine by your lens specifications:
You can see the f2.8 on the diagram below. This means it has a constant aperture of f2.8 (widest) at any focal length.

tokina_af_11-16mm

Kit lens comes with variable aperture which means that your widest aperture will change as you change your focal length. The best way is go try it on your lens and you will know what I mean.

What does it mean then? If your aperture is wide open, it will allow more light to enter your camera. If your aperture is small, it will allow lesser light to enter your camera. Pretty simple yea…

Let’s make things a bit more complicated…we shall discuss about effects with different aperture. I bet that occasionally you will hear photographers saying “BOKEH” and wonder what that means.

Bokeh Effect:
To achieve this effect, simply put your camera aperture to the widest.
bigpreview_Lens and Bokeh

Detail Effect:
To achieve this effect, simply put your camera aperture to f8 and above.
DSC_0867

To further complicate things, we will learn about how to optimize your lens performance in accordance to your aperture. Every lens has a “sweet spot” which is the sharpest point. For landscapers like me, we usually shoot at this sweet spot very often which is why you see most of my settings I posted on the blog ranges from f8-f11. So how do you find out what is the optimal sharpest point? It is quite simple…GOOGLE! I have make things even simpler for you and provided two websites that I always read and use to allow me to get the information.

DxOMark
Photozone

To be continued in my next part….(Shutter Speed)

Take Note: This post is just to simplify things for people. I know there are some pros out there who will say “depth of field”, “compression”, “blades” and blah blah terms. But hey…lets keep thing simple for now. Before you learn to run, you walk first.

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