What Aperture Settings Should I Use?

In a previous post, we discussed what each of the different focal lengths were usually used for and it gave a good perspective on what setting to use when you are just starting out.

Today, we look at aperture settings.  Although aperture has a great deal to do with creative photography, there are certain things that each of the different apertures are used for.  From portraits to landscapes, beginners should first learn the settings that are typically used before they bend the rules and try something new.

Macro images are best when an aperture setting of the lowest possible such as f1.4 so the background is blurred and the concentration is on the subject itself.  Such a low setting is also good for low light situations because it can allow a lot more light in to reach the sensor.

Portraits and faces are better with a little higher of a setting, such as f5.6 because, although you want to focus on the eye of your subject, it gives a little more depth of field so not only the eye is in focus but so is the rest of the face, leaving the background blurred.

Landscapes are different.  When shooting landscapes, you want everything to be in focus so the viewer can see the entire scene and not just the part that is the subject.  Aperture settings from f11 to f22 or higher is perfect for this.  You can focus on the subject of your image and compose for it but the whole image will come out clear making the image more pleasing to the eye.  Just watch out for diffraction in your images when stopping down the aperture.

Everything else can be shot at apertures of f8 to f11, still life, motion, etc.  These settings are your choices when you don’t know what setting it should be.  After taking the shot, if you don’t like the way the background came out, you can open the aperture more or close it more to your liking.  A little experimenting goes a long way.

1.  Focal Lengths and What they are used for

#photography #aperture #macro

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