Aperture Priority- Chapter 1
Welcome to the Basics of Photography Course from F-Stop Diary. In Chapter One of the course I shall be discussing about the Aperture Priority Mode.
The pre-requisite for this Chapter is minimal. You should have used your camera for at-least 6 months in the Auto mode. However, this is not a mandatory requirement. I say so because then you’ll realize the fun of shooting in Aperture Priority Mode. Having one control at your disposal gives your images something extra which was not available in the Auto mode.
So what is Aperture Priority?
Aperture is the opening of the lens, through which the light reaches the sensor of the camera. In Aperture Priority mode you can adjust the opening of the lens and thus controlling the amount of light reaching the sensor. Modern day digital cameras let you open or close the aperture through the aperture priority mode.
So how to determine the amount of light through the lens?
In the photography parlance there is something called f-stop numbers. Yes, true the name of this website is derived from it. I don’t want to get into the details of how f-stop numbers are derived as it would be too technical for you as a beginner. I need you to understand the concept behind the f-stops.
The following are the f-stop numbers for a typical lens
f/2 – f/2.8 – f/4 – f/5.6 – f/8 – f/11 – f/16 – f/22 and so on.
So when I say I have a f/2.8 lens. I mean that the maximum aperture opening of that lens is f/2.8. And thus as I move from left to right on the above scale the smaller the aperture gets. This implies that on the above scale the smallest aperture is f/22.
I want you to sink in this concept. “The smaller the F-stop Number the Larger the Aperture or opening of the lens.”
The significance of F-Stop
Going from one f-stop number to the next lets exactly half the amount of light to the sensor.
So if I am shooting at say f/4 in aperture priority mode and I change the aperture setting to f/5.6 (this is called stopping down) then I am letting exactly half the amount of light to the sensor as compared to when I was shooting at f/4.
The above action would be called as “stopped down 1-stop of light”
In the next lesson I shall discuss “what effect aperture control would bring in your images”. I don’t want the beginners to get confused with all the information in one Post. So stay tuned for the next lesson.
Pick up your camera, set the camera in Aperture Priority mode and set the aperture. On a Canon and Pentax it is denoted as Av and on a Nikon and Olympus it is denoted by A on the top dial of the camera.