How Does Aperture Affect Depth of Field? (Understanding Aperture Size and Depth of Field)

Have you enrolled in a photography course or want to learn the basics at home? Trust me; you cannot get to the point without knowing the “Aperture.”

This camera lens opening deliberately affects two things: one is the depth of field, that is, how much your subject is focused, and the second is the amount of light entering the camera lens. The relation of aperture with the amount of light is simple: the more open the camera’s opening, the brighter photograph you’ll get.

But what’s more important is, “how does aperture affect depth of field in photography”?

Before that, let’s start with the basic details of the aperture and depth of field. So continue to read the article to find the answer to your questions.

What Is Aperture?

Aperture is the opening of the camera lens that allows to capture the photograph and and entrance of light into the lens to make the photograph bright enough. Aperture is considered as the most important part of the exposure triangle because if the aperture is closed there will be no use of ISO and shutter speed.

No doubt the amount of light that enters into a camera depends on its sensitivity(ISO) but aperture has the initial role. Smaller aperture values like f/1.4 means that the size of the camera’s opening is bigger allowing more light to enter in the camera yet keeping a deep depth of field.

What Is The Depth of Field?

The focused areas in a photograph are called the depth of field, with a perfect sharpness of some areas. While the other areas of the frame are kept blurry and unfocused.

Usually the area in the photograph that needs more attention is given a deep depth of field while the other areas are either completely ignored or given a shallow depth of field.

The shallow depth of field is the zone in the photograph where the focus is kept very thin or low. While the deep depth of the field is the area with more and prominent focus.

Importance of Aperture For Depth of Field

The depth of field is changed by the aperture settings on your camera. Shallow depth of field can be achieved by the larger aperture like f/1.4. In a deep depth of field photograph the subject is differentiated from the background that is blurry. The purpose is to keep the subject more in focus of the viewer.

While deep depth of field can be attained with a smaller aperture like f/22. This is usually used in landscape photography where you need more subjects to be sharp, bright and clear.

Talking about the depth of field, shallow death of field is when we want only the closure objects to get sharper and clear while all the other objects in the background to remain unfocus and blur. While see

How Does Aperture Affect Depth of Field?

Aperture is a control room which guides the camera about how much focus should be put on which part of a photograph.

We already have talked about how aperture allows the light to enter the camera so it can hit the sensor and add brightness in the photograph but there is one more thing that you might not have considered yet.

Aperture can control the time for which the light hits the sensor.

With larger aperture and smaller f-stop values the exposure time gets shorter while when a smaller aperture settings are attained the camera can have longer exposure times.

Using different settings of aperture you are changing a lot of things to get the result in the photograph and condition where you are shooting.

Like to shoot a fast movie car on a track you need a larger to short and the amount of time when the light its the sensor together with keeping the shutter speed faster full stop this helps to capture the action in a freeze form without disturbing the photograph.

To show movement in your photograph a good idea is to blur the elements in the background using a smaller aperture giving you a longer exposure time. This makes your photograph look like it’s in motion.

Looking at the depth of field, shallow depth means when the objects closer to the lens are sharper and focused while the ones in the background are kept unfocused and blurred. On contrast a deep depth means only one object in your frame remains sharper while all the other objects in the photograph are kept blurry.

Controlling Aperture For Desired Depth Of Field

As we already know aperture is one part of the exposure triangle that works by controlling the size of the camera lens opening. This opening is the only part of the camera from which your light enters the sensor and photograph is captured.

When capturing a portrait where you want the background to be blurred you need a shallow depth of field achieved through a larger aperture setting. You can find the aperture settings from your camera’s menu and change it using the dial or buttons available. The best thing is that with every photograph you can change the aperture according to the need.

Like to capture a bigger frame you need a deep depth to give more focus to the surroundings instead of focusing on a single thing.

So controlling aperture needs you to know where the aperture settings lie in your camera and the perfect aperture for a situation and you are all set.

Best Aperture To Attain Perfect Depth of Field

There are countless different aperture settings available giving different depths of field making it difficult for beginner photographers to decide which one is best for a particular situation.

There is no universal setting for a particular photograph yet it depends on your choice. The list below will help you with choosing the aperture for different scenes.

01: Family Photographs

You can use a f/4 aperture to get deep depth by blurring the background to focus on the family members. If this doesn’t work for you, you can start shifting the f-stops to f/5.6 or even more.

It depends on the number of family members you want to add in the photograph. The higher the number of members the larger aperture value you should use.

02: Outdoor Photographs

For outdoor photographs a shallow depth works best so you can choose the aperture f/2.8 to start with and keep on moving until you get the best picture.

If the day is too bright you may not be able to use wider aperture because it will over-expose the photograph. In that case you will need a very fast shutter speed to maintain a balance.

03: Close-up Photographs

Deep depth of field will not work best in this scenario so using a shallow depth can help you get the parts of your subject more prominent and sharp.

Use an f/8 to keep the whole face of your subject sharp and clear. You can go to smaller f-stops to get the best close up photograph. The closer you get to your subject the lesser depth of field you have so it gets tricky to capture such photographs.

04: Full Body Photographs

You can stand at a distance from the full body you want to capture. Because you will be at a distance more of the subject can be in focus using the larger apertures.

If the background of the full body is distracting you can use wider aperture like f/4-f/5.6.

The Ending Note

Taking high-end photographs is the dream of every photographer, and a perfectly captured depth of field can turn the tables for you. With practice and control over your camera’s aperture you’ll get familiar with different depth’s of field.

Learning which part of the capturing frame you need to focus is the real art of photography. So start practicing once you understand the effect of aperture on the depth of field.