How to Use the Aperture


The aperture on your camera is what controls the amount of light when taking a photograph. It is how wide the lens opens when you click that button. A large aperture will give you a photograph where the area of focus is small and the depth of field shallow. This is good for close-ups like portraits or close-up photographs of wildlife. The aperture setting should be from f2.8 to f5.6. Shallow depth of field will give clarity to the closest thing in your photo. (The smaller the f-number, the larger the aperture setting and thus, the more light let in).
A small aperture, on the other hand, is necessary for landscapes and distant shots, as it will give clarity in foreground and background details. The settings for small aperture would be between f16 to f32. For mid-range shots the in-between settings of f8 to f11 will give high clarity and detail, maximizing the sharpness of your lens. A small aperture will give a greater depth of field. 
Depth of field can be explained as the distance between the closest thing in your photo and the furthest thing. If you have good depth of field, the details in your photo will be clear at both five feet and fifteen feet. Most digital cameras have a great depth of field, which is why it is hard to blur the background so the foreground is sharp and in contrast. Most cameras with an automatic depth of field cannot be set manually. If you want to take photographs that are very precise, you need a camera that allows manual adjustment.
If you want clarity of detail between 1 and 2 ½ meters, then use a 22mm lens and set to f8 and a bit less than 1 ½ meters. This means that the background will be suitably unsharp, throwing the foreground into relief. The larger the aperture number, the less time is required to take a photo. So if you want to photograph something that is moving, make sure your f-number is fairly large. 
Correct exposure is determined by both shutter speed and aperture, but when you are shooting during times of low light such as dusk, you will need to adjust the aperture to let in as much light as possible. In bright conditions, the aperture should be set to a smaller f-number to prevent excessive light spoiling the picture. 
Many people don’t worry their heads about such things as aperture, exposure and shutter speeds and if this is you and you’re happy with your photographs, that’s great. Otherwise, a little attention to details like this could improve the quality of your photographs a great deal.
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