Photograph A Friend and Experiment With Aperture

This week I challenged myself to take some photos of a friend and experiment with aperture.  I will just be talking about the effect that changing the aperture has on your photos so if you want to understand a bit more about the science behind it check out this post here. Firstly I will talk a little bit about photographing your friend.

Photograph A Friend
My friend is my handsome husband Stephen (commonly known as Blowers) and he was very obliging. He normally pulls funny faces when he knows someone is taking his photo so a challenge for me was to try and get him to act naturally while I snapped away. Since we have a fairly easy going relationship that has been built up over the years it wasn't too tricky but I can imagine that as a photographer taking photos of some one you barely know this can be the biggest challenge. I tried to get him to chat about his day and make a few jokes. Sometimes this meant the photos had him mid word and looking silly but I tried to wait to in between sentence and for short pauses to press the button and take the shot. If you didn't manage to do this maybe try next time.

Now to talk a bit about aperture. Aperture is measured in f/stop numbers. It's slightly confusing but the larger the f/stop the smaller the aperture (to understand why read more here). I'll show you some photos that I took to show you what effect changing the aperture had.

The photo above was taken with an aperture of f/25. This is a larger f/stop number. You can see that both Stephen and the background are in focus.

In this second photograph the f/stop number is smaller, the aperture is f/15. If you compare this with the photo above you can see that the background is starting to get fuzzy. We say that the 'depth of field' is smaller or shallower. This is because a smaller slice of what you see is in focus.

Finally the above photograph has an aperture of f/3.8. This is the smallest f/stop (largest aperture) I could use on my camera. It has made the background very fuzzy and is totally focused on Stephen. This has the smallest depth of field and really makes Stephen stand out. For this reason using a large aperture (small f/stop number) can result in great portraits. On the other hand if you are trying to photograph a scenery you will need a small aperture (large f/stop number).

So remember this
Small Aperture = Large f/stop number = Large depth of field
Large Aperture = Small f/stop number = Shallow depth of field

It is worth just mentioning though that having a smaller aperture means less light will go in through your lens. In Aperture mode the camera will compensate for this by having a longer shutter speed. This means you are more likely to get a blurry photo unless you ensure your camera is steady and preferably use a tripod. You may have found you couldn't take a decent photo of your friend when you aperture was small because they kept moving, don't worry, just use a larger aperture next time. Zoe x


  1. Thank you for that mini lesson as I usually keep everything on "auto". Thank you for linking up with us at #WWDParty - have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Good tips on aperture!
    ~A Ranch Mom from the Weekend Wind-down Party

  3. I need a good camera! Thanks for joining the WWDParty and having us in the sidebar!


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