Publish date: September 16th 2018

Written by Robert Wong



Simply put, aperture is the opening in the lens. The larger the opening, the greater the amount of light that enters the camera. Ironically, the smaller the number, the larger the aperture. For example, f/1.8 is a much larger aperture than f/22. Therefore, the lower number the aperture, the higher shutter speed can be to capture an image. For example, shooting at f/1.8, you could capture an image in lowlight with a shutter speed of 1/60 seconds with a decent amount of exposure while it would take a shutter speed of 2 seconds

to capture the same image at an aperture of f/22.



Essentially, DOF is the amount of your image that will be in focus. Large DOF means that most of your image will be in focus, irrelevant to whether parts of the image are close or far away from the camera.

For example, this image has a large DOF (high/small aperture):

Large DOF

A small DOF means that only parts of your subject will be in focus. Assuming you are shooting a portrait and not a landscape, small DOF is desirable, causing significant blurring of lights in the foreground and background. The lights form a sort of circle. This is known as bokeh.


For example, this shot (low/large aperture):


This shot (low/large aperture):



After reading this article, I hope you have gained a greater understanding of the significance and power of the aperture setting. Regardless of what aperture you decide to use, make sure it is appropriate for the shot. For example, a lower aperture in low light (without a tripod) and for portraits; and a higher aperture in high light or for landscape shots (low light or high light). Best of luck in your shooting adventures!

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