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How to Choose Your Aperture Setting

The aperture is the opening by which light enters your camera. When altered, it produces drastically different effects.


  • Step 1: Turn off auto mode Take your camera off auto mode and select either aperture-priority or manual mode.
  • TIP: A great way to learn aperture is in aperture-priority mode, where you choose the aperture and the camera sets the appropriate shutter speed.
  • Step 2: Select focal point Look at your subject and select your focal point.
  • Step 3: Decide how much focus you want Decide on how much of the image you want to be in focus. The more 'depths' you want in focus front-to-back, the larger the ƒ-stop should be. The less you want in focus, or the more blurry the background, the smaller the ƒ-stop.
  • Step 4: Set aperture Set your aperture on your camera by turning the aperture ring on the lens.
  • TIP: The aperture range changes from lens to lens, but common lenses range from ƒ2.8 to ƒ22.
  • Step 5: Adjust shutter speed If you’re using manual mode, now adjust your shutter speed.
  • Step 6: Shoot pictures Shoot your pictures.
  • Step 7: Experiment Try experimenting with various depth-of-fields on different subjects to the see the effects and discover what suits your tastes.
  • FACT: The human eye is a complex lens, with the iris serving as its aperture.

You Will Need

  • A single-lens reflex camera with the ability to set your own aperture

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