What Does Aperture Mean in Photography - ShopJeanPhotography.com

What Does Aperture Mean in Photography

If you don't shoot in manual yet and curious as to how exactly it all works, I wanted to share a bit about some of the important functions of a camera. While I'll be sharing more settings and functions in later blog posts, today I wanted to share about the Aperture.

What Does Aperture Mean?

The aperture  in a camera is the opening in the lens through which light passes before it reaches the camera's image sensor or film.


The aperture is created by a diaphragm that can be adjusted to control the size of the opening. This diaphragm is made up of a series of blades that move in and out to create a larger or smaller opening.


An Aperture is measured in F-Stops

The size of the aperture is measured in f-stops, which represent the ratio of the lens's focal length to the diameter of the aperture. So, for example, an aperture with an f-stop of f/2.8 means that the diameter of the opening is one-eighth the length of the lens's focal length.


You are essentially telling the camera how wide or narrow to make the opening in the lens when you are adjusting your settings. A wider opening (represented by a lower f-stop number) allows more light to enter the camera, while a narrower opening (represented by a higher f-stop number) lets in less light.

Think of it like the pupil in an eye - it gets bigger or smaller depending on how much light is let in. And just like pupils, different lenses can have different maximum aperture sizes. It's like some lenses have giant pupils that can see in the dark, while others have tiny pupils that need a lot of light to see anything at all.


A Wide Aperture

In addition to controlling the amount of light that enters the camera, the aperture also affects the depth of field in your photos. A wide aperture (low f-stop number) creates a shallow depth of field, where only the subject is in focus and the background is blurred.

wide aperture

A Narrow Aperture

A narrow aperture (high f-stop number) creates a deep depth of field, where everything in the image is in focus.


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