What is the first thing you do when you get your brand new DSLR? Well, someone will just google up for the basic settings to get familiar with their DSLR. One will often get confused on reading so many different articles , but not more, here we come with a new detailed and easy to understand article on the 3 important pillars of Digital Photography, i.e, Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO.
Let us start with the most important concept, the Aperture.
What is this Aperture thing that people keep talking about ?
Just like our eyes have a small opening through which the light enters our eye, even the camera has a small opening to control the amount of light that enters in it. We all have tried putting a torch in front of our eyes to see how the pupil expands and contracts according to the amount of light its being exposed to.
Similarly, its necessary to adjust the aperture according to lighting conditions you are shooting in.
What are F stops and how to read them ?
This is one of the most confusing concepts that beginners come with . F stops are nothing but a way to measure the aperture value or the extent to which its open. In a layman’s language, it’s a numerical representation of aperture. It is also called as the focal ratio or the relative aperture.
It is a ratio of the focal length of the lens and diameter of the entrance pupil.
The F-number is represented in various ways because of which it is very natural to get confused when you start with your camera for the first time . They can be read as following:
- F 10
Most of the time the F-stops are represented in the above mentioned ways. Don’t get confused, it’s the same thing, its just a different way of writing them.
This was about the theoretical stuff, now let us see the how aperture affects our images. When you set the aperture as , for example, f/2.8 then this means that you have opened the aperture to its widest possible dimension whereas if you set it at f/22 then it means that you have put the aperture on its smallest possible dimension.
Still a bit confused? Well, let’s try like this, being a ratio, if we take aperture = f/denominator, then the smaller the denominator the larger the aperture which means a greater opening for the light to enter, whereas on the other side, when the denominator is a large number then the aperture value becomes small, that means a small opening for the light to enter.
You must have often heard about people talking about Depth Of Field or DOF being shallow and deep.
Well, what is this DOF concept ?
The Depth of Field in a layman’s language is the amount of blurred background achieved . When the background is blurred (defocussed) enough that you cannot see the details of the objects in the background then its said to be a Shallow DOF whereas when the objects in the background are considerably visible then it is said to have a Deep DOF.
The Larger the aperture value (eg: f/2.8) ,the more is the blur (out of focus/soft/defocused) effect you achieve on the background and hence Shallow DOF. On the other hand, the Smaller the aperture (e.g f/22) the less blur effect achieved on the background and more details with the objects in the background are achieved, hence the Deep DOF.