Tog-Talk with Kevin Ahronson
March 15, 2022
Photography Basics Pt.2 An introduction to the Aperture

Aperture - one third of the Exposure Triangle. Understanding the aperture is like understanding the secret of life, the universe and everything. Yup. pretty damn important.

The Aperture

Continuing our ten-part mini series for new photographers (Photography Basics), this week we are looking at the Aperture.

Whilst most people are familiar with the role of the aperture in terms of controlling the amount of light that enters the camera... perhaps not so many understand the relationship between aperture and the other two elements of the exposure triangle: shutter speed and ISO.

Then there's the side effect of changing the aperture... the impact it has upon the Depth of Field (DoF), the amount of the photo that appears sharp

The size of the aperture affects how much of your photo is in focus.  Wide apertures give you a narrow DoF, whereas small apertures give you wider ones.   

As a portrait photographer I may want to soften the background behind someone I'm photographing, to help them stand out from the background.  Picking a wide open aperture like f/2 or f/1.8 will brilliantly isolate the subject by giving me a narrow DoF.  

Conversely, if I'm shooting a landscape scene, I may want both my foreground and background sharp, in which case I pick a smaller aperture like f/11 or f/16 to give me a wide DoF.

Understanding the aperture will help you take control of your camera and your picture. 

Some links from the discussion:

These are great sources of used gear that I personally recommend.

  • Crop Sensor Cameras.  This ancient video I made back in 2016 should help explain what a crop frame (or crop sensor) camera is.  

Introduction To Photography (1-day Workshop)
Run four times a year, this one-day photography workshop will equip you with the knowledge you need to move from simply being a camera-owner… to becoming a real photographer !

Whether you're photographing your kids, snapping your holidays or you're hoping to progress your photography to a more creative level, you'll still need a solid grasp of the basics.

PLEASE NOTE: All course fees will be going up on 1st April (2022).  And no, this is not an April fool !  If you register for any course before that date, you will get it at current prices.

Photography Assessment Tool:
Use this online tool to assess your photography knowledge and get a snapshot of your strengths and weaknesses.

Hampshire School of Photography (HSP)
Hampshire School of Photography is based in Fleet, Hampshire, on the border with Berkshire and Surrey.

Its wide ranging curriculum teaches photography to enthusiasts at all levels - from complete beginners and advanced amateurs, through to those who want to go professional.

It does this through workshops and year-long courses that provide solid foundations in (amongst other things): photography theory, composition, portrait & landscape photography, working with flash, macro photography and editing in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Some of our courses go even deeper… to stretch students with challenging assignments, forcing them out of their comfort zones.

Founder of HSP, Kevin Ahronson, also offers private mentoring to a small number of people each year, as his busy schedule allows.