Understanding Aperture in 97 Seconds

97 seconds is all it will take for host Alan Griffith to explain how aperture works in your DSLR camera.  Also, take a look at his previous video How to use AV mode on your Canon Rebel in 86 Seconds.

Episode Transcript

Hello, and welcome to sub150, the show that teaches you how to do something in 150 seconds or less.  In the first episode in this series, I showed you how to set your camera in AV mode to achieve a shallow depth of field in your image.  In this video, I am going to provide you with a little more detail on how the aperture in your lens actually works.  Let’s start the clock.

When you place your camera into AV, or Aperture Value mode, you are controlling one of three exposure settings on your camera.  The other two, shutter speed and ISO will be explored in other videos in this series.  But for now, let’s start the clock and learn more about aperture.

Your aperture value controls two major elements:  the amount of light coming into your camera and the depth of field or the focal distance between the nearest and furthest objects.

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Aperture is measured in f stops.  The lower the number, the wider open your aperture is.
Here are some shots taken today.  The first photo was taken at f1.8 and the second at f?.  

You will notice that the depth of field is much more shallow in the first photo.
Although Aperture has an impact on overall exposure, we will not concern ourself with that in this video because AV mode allows you to adjust aperture while the camera will adjust all other exposure settings to ensure that your image is properly exposed.

Take a look inside this 50 mm lens to see how Aperture works.  This is the aperture.  When you change your f-stop setting, the aperture adjusts like so.  Currently the aperture in the lens is set to the minimum setting of f22.  The opening of the lens is very small.  This lets in less light allows you to focus over a broader range.

Now I will open the aperture up to a setting of f1.8.  This lets much more light into the camera and allows you shoot that shallow depth of field effect that we are trying to obtain.
Once you start to learn how to operate your camera you will find that you will be shooting much less in Automatic mode and that you will favour AV, TV, P mode, or the daunting full manual mode.  All of these modes will be explored in other videos in this series.

All right, stop the clock.  As promised, that is understanding aperture in 150 seconds or less.  Thanks for watching sub150.  Check out my other videos in this series and don’t forget to Like, share, and subscribe.