In my previous article, dust, shutter speeds, and orbs, I talked about the function of the shutter. The aperture is simply an opening in the lens that gives you a different way to control how much light hits the sensor. In a camera, “When you hit the shutter release button of your camera a hole opens up that allows your cameras image sensor to catch a glimpse of the scene you’re wanting to capture. The aperture that you set impacts the size of that hole. The larger the hole the more light that gets in – the smaller the hole the less light.” (Rowse).
Wow, that is pretty abstract what does that mean for an amateur or paranormal photographer? Aperture affects the depth of field (how much of the shot is in focus). A “large depth of field means that most of your image will be in focus whether it’s close to your camera or far away” (Rowse). The picture of the flowers with the clear, crisp green fern in the background utilizes an f/22 setting. In contrast, “Small or shallow depth of field means that only part of the image will be in focus and the rest will be fuzzy” (Rowse). The second picture of the flower where it is hard to discern what is in the background uses an f/2.8 setting.
Remember that a digital camera works by exposing light to the camera’s sensor. The following table shows you how aperture and shutter speed values can differ to allow the same amount of exposure (McHugh):
Why are lenses and apertures important to know about? Simply put, “ While zoom lenses give you the flexibility to zoom in and out (most point and shoot cameras have zoom lenses) without having to move closer or away from the subject, fixed or prime lenses only have one focal length…. many of the consumer lenses have variable apertures. What it means, is that when you are fully zoomed out, the aperture is one number, while zooming in will increase the f-number to a higher number… The heavy, professional zoom lenses, on the other hand, typically have fixed apertures… “ (Mansurov, 2009).
In short, when taking photographs, decide what is important to capture. Are you looking to capture motion (crisp versus blurry think shutter speed), are you looking to capture a lot close and distant detail (think deep depth of field, small aperture f/11, f16, f22) , or are you looking to capture a small close up in detail and blur the background (f/2.8, f4, f5.6) or are you looking to capture a balanced depth of field?
The attached quick aperture reference guide is courtesy of JMeyer @ http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/…/free-f-stop-chart-mast…/
Mansurov, N. (2009, December 19). Understanding Aperture – A Beginner’s Guide. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from https://photographylife.com/what-is-aperture-in-photography
Meyer, J. (2012, March 17). Free f-stop chart: Master your aperture | Digital Camera World. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/…/free-f-stop-chart-mast…/
McHugh, S. (n.d.). CAMERA EXPOSURE. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutori…/camera-exposure.htm
Rowse, D. (n.d.). Introduction to Aperture – Digital Photography School. Retrieved December 9, 2014, from http://digital-photography-school.com/aperture/