What Is Aperture or F Stop?
Understanding aperture or f stop is extremely important to shooting on manual mode. We touched on aperture in the How to Shoot on Manual Mode post but let’s explore it a little more. According to Wikipedia, aperture is a hole or an opening through which light travels.
Shooting “Wide Open”
Another thing to keep in mind about when people talk about aperture or f stops is they say they their aperture is “wide open” or a “narrow” or “smaller aperture”. When people say they are wide open or to “open up your aperture” they mean to lower your number. For example, if you are shooting at f3.5 and you open up your aperture you would change it to maybe f2.8 and if you want to shoot wide open you would change it to the lowest number possible depending on your lens.
How Your Lens Opens
Basically, the wider your aperture is the more light that will come in. This diagram helps you understand how the smaller number brings in more light and why people call it “wide open”. This shows you how open your lens is at each setting.
Creating Blurry Backgrounds
The thing I love most about setting my aperture is creating those blurry backgrounds that look so professional :O) Plus, if you are shooting in your house and have your aperture wide open it helps to hide the mess that may be in the background :O) That is one of my favorite tricks :O) Here are a few examples of what a picture will look like using different aperture settings. Notice how in the ones where my aperture was wider there is some great bokeh and as my aperture was more closed up you can see all the details in the background.
Did you notice in the first one there is a huge tree that is coming out of her head?? Nope! Thank you aperture!!
Thanks to my friend, Trisha, for being such a great model :O)