I have decided to do a mini series of Photography Tutorials for y'all! It's so easy to buy a camera and dive straight into using AUTO (I've been there). AUTO is the simple way out of having to faff around with Manual or Aperture Priority mode. However if you have a lovely DSLR camera, surely you want to learn how it can work to it's full potential!?

There are 3 components that are vitally important you learn about, before shooting with your DSLR camera on manual or Aperture Priorty.

  1. Aperture

  2. Shutter Speed

  3. ISO


I am going to give you weekly tutorials to explain each of those components but today I am going to start with APERTURE.

Understanding the principles and basics of photography will help you master your camera and give you that perfect photography you are after. I use a Canon 5DS, 50.6 Megapixel full-frame camera. Whatever make your DSLR camera is, these principles still apply!


All light passes through your camera lens through a hole. This hole decides how much light to let onto your camera sensor. Aperture is the size of that hole inside the lens.

Think how our eyes work, if you shine a light in your eyes your pupils will get smaller, but in a darker room they will dilate (becoming larger) to try and let as much light in as possible.

The smaller the hole the less light that can pass through.

Aperture is measured in F-numbers. This is the measurement of the diameter of the hole. 

This is where it got confusing for me to begin with, because the lower the f-number, for instance ƒ/1.4, the BIGGER the hole and therefore the more light that is allowed to the sensor.

If the ƒ number is as high as f22, the hole will be smaller, meaning less light is able to pass through the sensor.

Aperture is referred to as full stop f-number or f-stops. If you look at a lens you will see it has an f-stop range or number.

Each camera is different, and there are a number of different sets of f-numbers but the most commonly used are:

ƒ/1.4 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 32

The amount of light that reaches the sensor affects the depth of field and the amount of your image that is in focus.

The lower the aperture, i.e. ƒ/1.4, the bigger the hole and the more light, which will give you a very shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field means your object will be crisp and clear in the foreground with it's background all blurry.

As the aperture increases, the hole gets smaller, the less light reaches the sensor, and the more in focus the background becomes.

Shooting in Aperture Priority (shown as AV on most DSLR cameras) using a low f-number, will create the perfect for portrait, giving that person complete distinction from it’s background.


Compare the two shots

As you can see the photo on the left the aperture is f/2,5 - creating a very shallow depth of field (making the second lemon blurry). The image on the right is f/32, which makes the background equally in focus as the foreground.

Have a play with your camera on Aperture Priority mode. Put an object in front of you and move the F-number up one stop for each shot. You will then see the difference between the light and the depth of field. ISO plays a huge part with Aperture priority mode.

I hope this tutorial was helpful, next up is ISO!

The Wondering Dreamer x