Travel Photography Essentials Part 2 –

Hello PhotoPandas!


Welcome to Travel Photography Essentials Part 2! So last time we covered what ISO meant and what it does. Now let’s look at Aperture and what IT does! 🙂

What is Aperture? It’s often called F-stop as well. F stop simply the letter “f/” on your lens.

Aperture is how “wide” the lens opens up to allow light to come in. If you hear people say, “I shot it in wide open aperture”, that simply means, they used the lowest “number” possible that the lens will allow. IE. 50mm f/1.4   That f/1.4 signifies “wide” open aperture which means it allows maximum light to enter and hit the camera sensor.
Howerver… Be careful, as taking pictures with a wide aperture will have some Pros n Cons.

1. Beautiful blurred background which will make the subject the focus of the image IE. Perfect for portrait photography or macro photography
2. You can use much faster shutter speed in order to capture a fast moving object

1. Depending on the subject, sometimes a blurred background or less than sharp background is not what’s needed. IE. Not ideal for landscape photography
2. Sometimes, not all lenses can have a “wide” aperture (aka f/1.2, 1.4, 1.8, 2.0, 2.8)
3. Expensive to buy lenses that offer “wide” apertures.

Ok…. what does this all mean??? like WTF??? hahaha

Here is a quick visual!

Yup! Kinda confusing ain’t it?? HAHA so basically a smaller number means a wider opening and bigger number is smaller opening.

Ok! HOW DA HELL do you make this simple? SIMPLE!

Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

F/1.4 to F/2.8 is good for ….. Low light conditions (weddings, evening), portrait images, fashion photography, beauty shots)

F/5.6 is good for ….. group pictures, portrait images and still want to have some detail of the background

F/8 to F/16 is great for …. Landscape images

So do you NEED to fool around with this setting during shoots? Absolutely not! What I always taught my students was to always think about what you are going to do for the day.

IE. If I’m in Maui, and the sun is setting then I know I will be going out there to shoot a landscape/sunset landscape, so immediately I set my aperture aka f/stop to f/8 or f/11 usually.

IE. If I’m going to be taking pictures of delicious food all day then I know I will set my aperture to f/2.8 or f/4 as this is what my lens is limited in. That’s because I know I will be indoors and I will need the aperture to be more open.

So now that we know what ISO and Aperture means, it will take the guess work out of shooting manual! Now you know AHEAD of time what ISO and Aperture should be so that leaves you with just Shutter Speed!!!

Stay tuned for the next blog to see how to play with shutter speed and finally be able to take pictures using that so called intimidating mode called MANUAL.

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