An introduction to aperture and depth of field

As I continue to take pictures for my final project each week, I am struggling with new and exciting ways to make my photos “strange” other than Photoshop effects. As a person with little to no photography skills before this class, I found this extremely difficult – that is until I discovered and began to play with aperture and depth of field.

Aperture is the size the lens of a camera opens when taking a picture. The larger the aperture (hole in the lens), the more light that is let in and vise versa.

Depth of field (DOF) is the amount of your shot that will be in focus. A large depth of field means more of the picture will be in focus than a small or shallow depth of field (where only some of the image is in focus and the rest is blurry.)

Now that the definitions are out of the way, it is important to note that aperture has a big impact on depth of field. A large aperture will give you a small depth of field and small aperture will give you large depth of field. A bit confusing, I know, but you get the hang of it.

Often, photographers use small apertures (large DOF) for landscapes and large apertures (small DOF) for portraits, to ensure the person is the focus on the photo. However, since this classes theme is focused on the strange, messing around with aperture and depth of field when shooting photos can make for interesting photos.

***** Some “point and shoot” cameras don’t allow you to adjust your aperture, but thanks to this past blog entry, I found a way to empower my digital camera.


Mairead Lynn


~ by maireadlynn on November 1, 2011.

3 Responses to “An introduction to aperture and depth of field”

  1. I love that you chose such a seemingly complicated topic that a lot of people have trouble with. (Though they may not know this is their problem.) I really like how you connect with your audience and that the post is relateable to what we are doing in class. If you just added some random post, it would’ve been lost, especially without graphics. To be completely shallow, pictures attract people and at first, I didn’t know if I would love your post, but I ended up doing so.

  2. This post is a very basic photography primer, but it absolutely needs pictures. Aperture settings are a huge part of photography and they can radically alter the way a picture turns out, and it’s easiest to show this through examples. You should also make mention of film speed (ISO setting in digital) in relation to the aperture setting, as aperture doesn’t just affect focus, but light and exposure as well.
    This needs more detail and example photographs, but the tone and subject is solid.
    -Nico Dyll

  3. I think this is the blog entry I’ve written that needs the most work so far. I’m still not completely confident in aperture myself, which was part of the reason why I chose it as my blog post this week. I figured if I had trouble with it, I probably wasn’t the only one. However, I think this blog entry sounds like someone who kind of knows what they’re talking about, but it’s quite sure. That’s not a blog entry I would trust myself. I also agree with everything Nico said above, including mentioning ISO settings and adding pictures.


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