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Photography ABC's - A is for...

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 6:00 AM


Selfie by P-a-i-k-e-a

I've been seeing the ABC's all over, and I decided to start my own I am a dummy! 
I want to try and make this an educational series, so something new to learn with each letter! I am planning on discussing history, techniques and a variety of terms used in photography. If you have a suggestion for a letter, please let me know! I haven't filled the entire alphabet yet!
I hope you'll enjoy! La la la la 

Photography ABC's - A is for...

Aperture


Aperture is an opening through which light travels. The bigger the opening, the more light will travel through it. It is one of the most fundamental aspects in exposing your photograph, while at the same time it is a fundamental aspect for the depth of field in the same photograph. Each aperture stop has a number assigned to it that will tell you how far open it is. Below, a schematic view of what we're about to discuss in this article.
1 by Yuukon
Important to remember:
Large Aperture (wide open) = Low number (2.8, 4)
Small Aperture (closed) = High number (16, 22)

Aperture & Light

When I first started learning about photography, my grandfather taught me about aperture and light with a little trick. He'd compare it to a running tap. If you open your tap all the way, a lot of water will come through, and you will see less (or nothing) of the "doors" that let the water through. If you gradually close your tap, less water will come through and you will start seeing more and more of those "doors" that let the water through. When translating that to aperture, if you're aperture is wide open, and you peek in the front of your lens, you will not see the blades, but it's letting through a lot of light. If we close our aperture, chances are you will see the blades when peeking in, but it's letting through a lot less light than in our previous setting.

It's important to note that you cannot see the aperture blades in all modern lenses if you peek through the front of your lens. However, if you have a vintage lens laying around, I definitely recommend turning that aperture ring around to see what it does. Below you can see an example of a vintage lens with a small aperture.
Aperture Mini1 by Yuukon

Aperture & Depth of Field

As I mentioned in the intro of this article, aperture isn't just to control light. Aperture also controls the depth of field in your photograph. In this case, a big aperture means a shallow depth of field, while a small aperture means a great depth of field. I know, I found that confusing at first as well! I taught myself a little trick to remember that, and I will share that with you.
Big aperture = Low number. Low number = Shallow depth of field. 

Small aperture = High number. High number = Great depth of field.
Obviously, this trick might not work for everyone. Just because it made sense in my brain, doesn't mean it has to in yours! However, linking the big aperture to low number, and linking that to shallow, which are both small values, and the other way around, has helped me immensely in remembering it all. After several years, I do it on autopilot today, but when someone asks me to explain, that's always the trick I teach! 

A shallow depth of field is great for isolating your subject from the background, like for instance, in portrait or animal photography. The shallow depth of field will create a nice, soft blur around your focused subject, which in turn will take away distractions. However, a great depth of field is absolutely brilliant when you're working with landscapes. You don't want just the one tree in focus in your landscape, but instead, you want everything in focus. When I started writing my Photography 101 articles, I also discussed this, and back then, I took a few example photographs of what aperture does to depth of field.
f/1.8 by Yuukon f/22 by Yuukon
Aperture f/1.8                                            Aperture f/22
As you can see, in the first photo, most of the background is nicely blurred while the rubber duck is still in focus, giving it a nice prominent place in the photo. When we shift attention to the second photo, it is immediately noticeable that the (very distracting) background is out of focus, which in turn, increases our chances of not seeing the duck, which is the subject, straight away. These are examples of the extremes, though. Here's a little schematic that has a more gradual perspective.
AperDiag by Yuukon

In Conclusion

Bullet; Black Aperture is used to control both light and depth of field. 
Bullet; Black A low aperture number means a lot of light and a shallow depth of field. 
Bullet; Black A high aperture number means less light and a greater depth of field

I hope you found this useful, and hopefully, I was able to teach you something new! For a complete overview of all my educational articles you can go here, this list is updated each time I write something new. If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask them! I'll happily provide you with an answer.
Paw Bullet Black (Outline) - F2U! 


Skin by Dan Leveille
I've been seeing the ABC's all over, and I decided to start my own I am a dummy! 
I want to try and make this an educational series, so something new to learn with each letter! I am planning on discussing history, techniques and a variety of terms used in photography. If you have a suggestion for a letter, please let me know! I haven't filled the entire alphabet yet!
I hope you'll enjoy! La la la la  
Add a Comment:
 
:iconamarantheans:
Amarantheans Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a great tutorial and I love how you used simplicity by not going into depth using photographic jargon and complicated vocabulary.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2018   Writer
I'm glad you enjoyed it Anita! 
Reply
:iconamarantheans:
Amarantheans Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle:
Reply
:iconsilentartist08:
SilentArtist08 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Love this and can't wait to see more!! :heart:
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
Thank you very much, and more is on the way! :heart:
Reply
:iconthystyn:
Thystyn Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Very nicely stated in language and pictures understandable by anyone.
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
Thank you very much! I hope this is useful to you!
Reply
:icongeekyelica:
GeekyElica Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Great explaination, I love how the tap one says it so simple yet clear. Thanks! salmon heart bullet
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
It's my pleasure, I'm happy it is useful to you!
Reply
:iconrebeccam-art:
RebeccaM-Art Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This was very interesting thank you!
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
I'm glad to hear that dear :heart:
Reply
:iconrebeccam-art:
RebeccaM-Art Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist Photographer
Well done. Thanks!
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
I'm glad you enjoyed it Steve! :la:
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I can only second TokyoMoonlight.
You have wonderfully explained with the duck and color pencils.

Suggestions, I would like to learn myself more from:

Infrared
Bokeh
Macro (photography)
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
I'm so glad to hear this is useful to you! And many thanks for your suggestions! :D
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
You are very welcome. I am still so new to photography, even if I do it for 10 years ... it is nothing in comparison to my writing and singing :)
Reply
:icontokyomoonlight:
TokyoMoonlight Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018   Traditional Artist
yes, macro is awesome :la:
It's on my top photo list =D
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
So, probably Monique will prepare some nice surprises :)
Reply
:icontokyomoonlight:
TokyoMoonlight Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2018   Traditional Artist
Thank you for the duck and color pencil examples...man, why don't people give such examples when they explain those things :dummy:
Is it so hard to put examples of photos? Hmm? 

Finally someone who did this. 

Thank you =D

Suggestion :plotting:
Image noise
white balance
camera lenses (for creating different effects, like bokeh, color filters, fisheye etc.)
darkroom
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2019   Writer
So... a darkroom article is coming this month! :eager:
I remembered you had suggested it for this series, but it became an article for my Photography 101 series because I had too much to say about it :lmao: Keep an eye out for it :la: 
Reply
:icontokyomoonlight:
TokyoMoonlight Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2019   Traditional Artist
Emote: Eye see you my eye is already ready...
Reply
:iconyuukon:
Yuukon Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Writer
I'm so glad to hear this is useful for you my dear! :heart: Thank you for your suggestions! Some of these were already on the list, but you also gave me a few new ones! :eager:
Reply
:icontokyomoonlight:
TokyoMoonlight Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018   Traditional Artist
I did? :O
Aw---eso---me :la:
Reply
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