I’ve got a bigger hole than yours but yours has a bigger number than mine?

So let’s talk about aperture size and how that relates to Depth of Field. Whoa! Stop right there. Before we get into this you know that it’s going to get complicated, right? I have to agree (steps back in shock)! Why make things complicated when they don’t need to be? So here goes. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be good to go:

  1. Don’t get stressed over this (it’s not worth it)
  2. Just know that the size of the aperture does two things: a) It lets in more or less light depending how big or small the hole is and b) It determines how much in front and behind the subject is in focus. This is called Depth of Field
  3. Big hole = Small Number
  4. Small hole = Big Number
  5. If you want your subject to have a pleasing blurry background then use a big hole (aperture) which is a small number (f-stop)
  6. If you want lots of your image in focus both in front and behind your subject then use a small hole (aperture) which is a big number (f-stop)

That’s it. It’s all you need to know. You don’t need to get hung up on it. If you are really inquisitive and want to know all about the technical side and the mathematics involved in determining how aperture size relates to depth of field then troll the internet for C. Welborne Piper. Good luck with that…I’m off to take some photographs.

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