I have had such fun introducing you to our new contributing bloggers this week!
Today I get to introduce you to another friend…I adore her and I think you will too.
Emilie is a Utah-based photographer. She’s also helped hone the skills of some of our communities finest bloggers (and at-home photographers) through her hands-on education classes. She also happens to be one of our AMAZING SNAP! speakers.
Amidst running her bustling business and raising a beautiful baby girl with her husband, Emilie shares photo tips on her site Photo by Emilie.
If the success of our 101 Must Take Photos post is any judge, you’re all avid amateur photographers hungry for tips and ideas.
So, without further ado…
How to Use Aperture and Bokeh to Create Perfect Portraits
Do you love taking photos of your kids as much as I do? Here’s a great tip to creating perfect Valentine’s Day portraits you can share with Grandma and Grandpa or just keep for yourself!
Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. Aperture is a function of the lens. Lenses contain a diaphragm, a thin light-blocking plate or interlocking set of adjustable plates. The diaphragm contains a small hole, called the aperture.
This hole is adjustable in size and allows the photographer to determine and control the amount of light entering the camera. Below is an image of a 50mm lens with the diaphragm or aperture wide open and the aperture closed tight.
One thing that causes a lot of new photographers confusion is that large apertures (lots of light gets through) have smaller f-stop numbers. Smaller apertures (less light gets through) have larger f-stop numbers. Here’s a diagram to help…
So f/2.8 is in fact a much larger aperture than f/16. It seems the wrong way around when you first hear it but you’ll get the hang of it.
Lower f-stops (wider aperture) give a shallow depth of field (DOF), also called Bokeh. This allows you to isolate the subject from the background. Shallow focus typically is used to emphasize one part of the image over the other.
1.8f is too low. It’s difficult to get the entire face in focus. In the example below the “kiss” is in focus but the rest of her face is out of focus. In contrast 5.6f is too high. There is simply too much in focus to isolate and pop your subject.