Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

Part 2 – Aperture

In our blog Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture we will look at Aperture and how it relates to exposure and also how it relates to creativity and achieving the result or look we want for our image. These are some of the concepts we cover in our Blue Mountains and Sydney Photography Courses

To view part one read our Photography Course Blue Mountains Sydney Exposure

Aperture and Exposure

Aperture has a main function and a secondary function. Apertures main function is to brighten or darken an image to create a good exposure in conjunction with ISO and Shutter. It is one of the factors that control how much light reaches the sensor or film. It is the opening in the lens which can be made larger or smaller to control the amount of light which enters through the lens and hits the sensor/film.

Aperture is measured in ‘f stops’ so you will often see f1.4, f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f16, f22 etc. This tells you how much light the lens is letting in by determining the size of the ‘hole opening’. The smaller the number the larger the hole therefore more light is let in.

Apertures secondary function relates to creativity and the ‘look’ of your image.

Aperture controls the depth of field – how much of the image is in focus. A large depth of field means more of the scene is in focus from front to back. A small depth of field means less of your scene is in focus from front to back.

Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

Small Depth of Field f1.4

Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

You can see in the image above shot at f1.4 only the part of the image where the focus was locked on is in actual focus and the rest quickly drops off into whats called ‘Bokeh’

Bokeh is the Japanese word for blur. The quality of the background blur or Bokeh is handled by the lens not the camera. Generally a good quality lens renders Bokeh better……there goes someones bank balance!

Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

Large Depth of Field f16

Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

In the second image above shot at f16 we can see that we now have a completely different looking image with more in focus. We can see from front to back and get reflections from a picture on the wall and see all the imperfections in my coffee table…..I’ll blame the kids for that.

So what does all this mean, well generally for portraits we would use a shallow depth of field to get that nice Bokeh in the background and for landscapes a large depth of field so that everything is acceptably in focus from front to back.


In our Next Blog we will cover Shutter Speed and its relation to Exposure and its other function relating to creativity.

 Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture

In our Blue Mountains Photography Courses and our Night Photography Courses Sydney we give you hands on experience and the concepts to learn how to use your camera more effectively and get the most out of your camera. We teach you how to read the light and adjust these settings accordingly to give you a correct exposure and creatively capture your scene based on the light in your scene. I do give you some base settings initially but by the end of the course you will have an understanding of how to apply the concepts and have the tools to troubleshoot the lighting issues you face and then become more creative with your shots. You will understand why an image turns out the way it does instead of ‘stumbling’ across the correct settings for what you are trying to achieve.

It then comes down to like anything in life ‘practice’.

‘Theory without practice is time wasted’

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Blue Mountains Photography Course Aperture