This week’s lesson from Emma over at A Year With My Camera is all about aperture and I think that this has to be my favourite part of a DSLR. The size of the aperture helps decide on how much of the image is going to be in focus – the depth of field.
The aperture is the hole in the lens which can be made bigger or smaller. The more light you let in, the more of your image will be in focus. You can decide whether to have everything in focus in the picture or you can decide to have just the subject in the photograph and blur out the other images.
Different lenses have different aperture settings. I am lucky enough to own a 50mm lens for my Canon 1200D camera and I think it has to be my favourite in the fact that it can give you a really shallow depth of field.
The aperture settings are called f-numbers, or f-stops. On my 50mm lens these range from F1.8 all the way up to F22 with stops in between. To make things a little more complicated – the larger the hole on the lens, the smaller the number and vice versa – but it does get easier to understand when you keep using it!
When you take a photograph using a shallow depth-of-field, the purpose is usually to make the subject of the photo stand out from the background and, as I am a little more advanced with my photography, Emma asked us to create a bokeh effect.
Bokeh is basically blur and the quality of the portion of a photograph that is not in sharp focus and it can impacted and enhanced by sources of light. To help make this really stand out, I decided to use a water spray to help the sunlight from the window bounce off of the image. A low aperture value produces short depth-of-field, and consequently a larger blurry portion of the image. Hence the reason for the blurry images of the plant towards the left-hand side of my photo. Also, the shorter the focal length, the greater the depth of field. I was around a foot away from the plant and focussed on the front right-hand side. As you can see this portion is in focus with the blurred image – or bokeh – behind and to the left.
The photo was taken on manual with an aperture of F1.8, a shutter speed of 1/2000, Auto White Balance and Auto ISO.