“Photography is a means of recording forever the things one sees for a moment.” Aaron Sussman
Aperture is like the pupil in your eye that opens wide in a dark room and gets smaller when in bright light. The numbers get larger as the aperture, or opening, gets smaller. The aperture size affects the amount of the scene that is in focus – which is called depth of field. If you want to blur your background use a large aperture which is a smaller number. If you want a landscape scene all in sharp focus use a smaller aperture which is a larger number.
Camera was set at aperture priority (AV) and the resulting shutter speed the camera chose to make a correct exposure is also listed. Notice change in depth of field as the aperture got smaller.Now what in the world can you do with this piece of information? HMMM…
Say you were photographing a sports scene and you did not want to draw attention to a distraction in the background since it would draw your eye away from your subject and the action. Use your wide aperture, focus on your subject and blur the background. It will also give you a quicker shutter speed to freeze action as an added benefit. You can also help blur the scene even more my using the zoom on your lens to zoom in and compress the scene. Make sure the resulting shutter speed is one that you can hand hold steadily unless you have a tripod. I can usually hand hold down to 1/60 of a second.
Portraits can benefit from a wide open aperture to help blur the background.
If you want to take a group photo and they are in rows you would want a smaller aperture (larger number) to give you more depth of field so that all of your rows are in sharp focus.
O.K. Gang. Now it’s your turn. If your camera has aperture priority you can get your manual out, find the setting and go outside and play this weekend.