Photo Tip Friday

Phew! Sorry I missed a couple of weeks there.  Things are settling down and I should be back on track.

So for today's tip. Let's talk about aperture. Aperture is what gives your photo "depth of field". Basically, it's how much of your photo is all in focus or how little is in focus.  For a while aperture was one of those things that didn't quite make sense to me. Aperture has to work in conjunction with your shutter speed to give you a proper exposure which I'll save for another post. For now let's focus on one thing at a time. Look through your manual and find where on your camera your aperture settings are.

Something I found a bit confusing was people would say "wide open aperture" or "narrow aperture". The confusing part is the smaller the number on your camera will give you the wider aperture. Technically though it's really the larger number because it's really f/2.8 or whatever it's set on. But all you need to remember is the smaller the number shown on your camera the more out of focus the background area in your photo is going to be.

And vice versa the larger the number shown on your camera more of your photo will be sharp.

For example, in this first photo below. I set my aperture to probably 2.4 or somewhere around in there. Forgive me, I don't feel like getting up off the couch and plugging in the external hard drive to find out the exact info, but just trust me on this one.  The cool thing about setting your aperture wide or setting it to a smaller number on your camera is sometimes you can get really cool shapes with background light like happened with the Christmas tree lights here. Our Christmas card which I focused on is in focus, but everything else is out of focus.

Christmas-cards_Dec162008_0005web

Now in this second photo below you'll notice that the background is much sharper. My aperture was set to f/8.0 which made the background and even the foreground much sharper than if I had set it to f/2.8. BTW – settings for this photo: ISO 200; SS – 1/200; f/8.0.

New-York_Feb052009_0928web

So I hope that takes a little bit of the mystery out of aperture for you. If not I'll try to explain it a bit better soon. I hope you all have a great Friday!