What is Aperture and How Does It help To Improve Our Photography?

Updated: 2 days ago

When I started on my photography journey I knew very little about the vocabulary of photography. Terms such as ‘bokeh’ were new to me, and while I was familiar with the term aperture, I didn’t know how it worked in photography terms.

After some study into this area I now know the basics and have become familiar with how aperture works to create depth of field. There are lots of good articles that describe and explain aperture much better than I can, but to put it simply, when I have a wide aperture (low F stop) I am able to focus on a subject and blur the background, in other words create a shallow depth of field.

I recently took this information out ‘into the field’ to put some of my learning into practice.

I was happy with this nice blurry background.

I started in my own garden isolating some flowers and blurring the backgrounds. My lens allows an aperture of F1.8 but I discovered that I couldn’t focus properly at this aperture so mostly used a slightly higher F stop.

I did a few experiments indoors and further afield, attempting in each case to isolate a subject and blur the background. Normally choice of subject would be important in shots like this as it is the main focus of the shot, although for experimentation purposes I wasn’t too concerned with that.

Taking the experimentation with aperture a little further, in the next shot I attempted to isolate the third pillar and blur the others, while in the apple experiments, using an f stop of 2.8, I tried to focus on each apple in turn, blurring the others. This technique would be useful for focusing on one person in a crowd and blurring everyone else.

My second experiment was with opening the aperture to different widths and taking shots of lights.

My next experiments will be with shutter speed.