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How to Set the F-Stop on a Camera for Any Photo

In Photo Basics by Frank Gallagher12 Comments

  The f-stop, or aperture, is one of the key camera settings every photographer must master because it controls two critical things: the amount of light going through the lens and how deep the field of focus (depth of field) goes in your image. The larger the opening of the lens, the more light hits …

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Aperture Blades: How many is best?

In Gear by Improve Photography4 Comments

The short answer is that the more blades an aperture has, the better.  However, that short answer needs (a lot) of clarifying to be totally true. Background for Beginners You probably already know that the aperture of your lens affects depth of field. If you shoot at a wide aperture you will have a shallow depth …

The Ideal Aperture for Landscape Photography

In Landscape/Nature by Jim Harmer22 Comments

Whenever I teach a class on landscape photography, I can guarantee that one of the first questions asked will be what aperture photographers should use for landscape photography.  I wish it were so simple that I could say an aperture value and leave it at that.  The truth is that, for photographers who really want …

What is the highest aperture on a DSLR camera?

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer1 Comment

While many lenses have a maximum aperture of f/22, some lenses have apertures that go to f/40 or higher! Generally, photographers do not use any aperture above f/18 or f/22 because of diffraction.  Diffraction is a phenomenon which causes a loss in sharpness because light rays are bent around the aperture. The following is a …

Depth of field — it’s more than just aperture!

In Photo Basics by Jim Harmer8 Comments

We all know that the aperture value controls the depth of field, but I am shocked how many intermediate photographers have never learned what other factors also impact depth of field (how much is sharp and how much of the photo is blurred).  In fact, these other factors have as much impact on depth of …