Camera Aperture in Your Travel Photography
Camera aperture is one of the three pillars of photography, the other two being ISO and Shutter Speed. Without a doubt, it is the most talked about subject. Camera aperture either adds a dimension to a photograph by blurring the background, or magically brings everything in focus. In this article, I will try to explain everything I know about aperture in very simple language.
It is easier to understand the concept if you just think about our eyes. Every camera that we know of today is designed like human eyes. The cornea in our eyes is like the front element of a lens. It gathers all external light, then bends it and passes it to the iris. Depending on the amount of light, the iris can either expand or shrink. Controlling the size of the pupil, which is a hole that lets the light pass further into the eye. The pupil is essentially what we refer to as aperture in photography. The amount of light that enters the retina (which works just like the camera sensor), is limited to the size of the pupil. The larger the pupil, the more light enters the retina.
So, the easiest way to remember aperture, is by associating it with your pupil. Large pupil size equals large aperture, while small pupil size equals small aperture.
The aperture controls depth of field: the amount on either side of the thing you focus on that is also sharp. You really have two options: a shallow depth of field where only a part of the picture is in focus, or a broad depth of field where most, if not all of your picture is in focus.
A wide camera aperture and a telephoto lens has reduced the distracting background to a pleasing blur.
A picture with a broad depth of field is more difficult to recognize, but anyone looking at the picture should be struck by an overall feeling of quality. Whether you’re shooting a landscape or a cityscape, what you want to achieve is a picture where everything, from the foreground to as far as the eye can see, is in focus. To achieve this, you’ll need to use one of the smallest apertures (using one of the larger numbers on the aperture scale). This might involve using a relatively slow shutter-speed and so you might need to use a tripod to avoid camera shake.
For a little better understanding please look at the image below.
Do you have any of your own aperture-related tips? Leave a comment below and feel free to link to one or more of your photos to demonstrate your point.