What is aperture, and how does it affect my photographs?

  • How does aperture affect my photographs?

    Why should I care about the aperture with which a photo was taken?

  • The aperture is the opening through which light goes to reach the camera's sensor.

    The size of the aperture affects not only the amount of time required to take a photo, but also the depth of field within it.

    With a wide aperture (so a low number, like f/1.8) gives a shallow depth of field - sometimes less than a millimetre with a macro lens. Because a lot of light is reaching the sensor (be it film or digital), this allows for fast shutter speeds

    With a narrow aperture (so a high number like f/22), the depth of field is much greater, which is useful for things like landscape photography - it will limit the amount of light reaching your sensor, so you will get slower shutter speeds, which makes a tripod handy.

    But what _is_ aperture?

    It's the size of the opening through which light goes to reach the camera's sensor.

    @NicolasBouliane If only that comment were in the _answer_...

    Narrow aperature can cause difraction and limit the sharpness in certain cases. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm Wide open aperature may also exacerbate various defects in the lense, such as chromatic aberation, sharpness, etc... I don't pretend I understand fully the physics why, but I think it has something to do with light hitting the edge of the lenses, which bends the light more and makes defects more visible.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM