Aperture Priority mode is one of the most fun camera settings available. There are only a few settings, but this is definitely one of the most fun ones. It offers the photographer an enormous amount of flexibility and creativity when shooting by giving the option of either blurring certain areas of a scene or keeping them sharp and in focus. The entire thing revolves around what’s called “depth of field,” so if you aren’t familiar with that phrase, you’ll definitely want to read my recent post about the basics of camera depth of field. It’s pretty good.
In this short post, I wanted to offer you a few examples of different aperture settings. I placed my camera on a tripod a few evenings ago and pointed it at a puzzle I’m working on. I thought the pieces would be perfect to exemplify how lens aperture size can affect the in-focus area of a resulting photograph. For my demonstration, I took nine consecutive photographs using Aperture Priority mode, starting at F/4.5 and ending all the way at F/29. I then processed the photos in Adobe Photoshop and sliced them up so each aperture setting output was visible in it’s own section. As you’ll see in the image below, the slices toward the left have more blur in the foreground and background and as the slices progress towards the right, that blur begins to disappear. What’s the moral of the story? Larger aperture settings (lower “F” numbers) offer more blur and smaller aperture settings (higher “F” numbers) offer sharper images.