How to Know What Aperture to Use

Every starting photographer knows that the aperture of the lens controls the amount of light that enters the camera. The bigger the aperture, the more light reaches the camera sensor.

However, the aperture has a second function of equal or even higher importance. The choice of aperture will determine what our image will look like in terms of sharpness.

The goal of this article is to help you figure out when to use big or when to use small apertures, regardless of the light conditions.

Read moreHow to Know What Aperture to Use

Why Are My Pictures Blurry or a Beginner’s Guide to Taking Sharp Photos

Once again, the “Why are my pictures blurry?” article was triggered by feedback from the readers of my blog. I asked subscribers to my newsletter to share their biggest challenges and struggles that they were currently facing as photographers. When I read through the responses, I was inspired to create another tutorial. Most of my readers shared the same challenge as beginning photographers struggling to get sharper photos. This is in line with many of the questions I’m often asked as a photographer, such as:

  • Why are my pictures blurry?
  • How do I take sharper photos?
  • What are the best sharpshooting techniques?
  • Read moreWhy Are My Pictures Blurry or a Beginner’s Guide to Taking Sharp Photos

    Aperture In Photography Fundamentals

    Photography Basics - Aperture In Photography

    If you are new to photography, it is likely that you have come across terms like aperture, shutter speed, f-stop, f-stop chart and so on. These terms might sound confusing, but they are part of the language of photography and describe the mechanics and technical details behind the way an image is recorded.

    In the spirit of understanding the basics of photography, I present this guide to using the aperture on your camera and how it affects image making.

    In this guide, I will answer the following questions:

    • What is aperture in photography?
    • What is f-stop?
    • What is depth of field and how does the aperture affect it?

    Read moreAperture In Photography Fundamentals

    How to Take a Photograph with a Blurred Background

    People who are just starting in photography often ask me how they can blur the background in their photos. Many are aware of this effect, possibly having seen it in photos in magazines or on the internet, but don’t know how to achieve it with their own camera.

    The good news is that almost all cameras can blur the background, one way or another.

    Here I’ll present the basic idea of blurring the background as well as a few ways you can achieve it yourselves.

    Why would I blur the background?

    The general purpose of blurring the background is to create a visual separation between the subject of your composition and the background.

    The blurry background allows you to “discard” or rather “mute” anything else that would ruin your composition by creating clutter and distracting the viewer’s attention.

    It is most often used in portrait photography. It is also applied in wildlife, sports or macro photography.

    Read moreHow to Take a Photograph with a Blurred Background

    Understanding F-Stop In Photography

    Beginner photographers are often confused by the term “f-stop”. They know it is somehow related to the concept of aperture and has something to do with depth of field but aren’t sure what exactly it stands for.

    Do you feel the same? Don’t worry because you’re certainly not alone. F-stop is indeed one of the most complicated concepts for everyone who makes his first steps in photography. It is also a very important one that you can’t really do without.

    My goal with this article is to explain in plain words everything you need to know about f-stops. I hope at the end all your questions will be answered.

    Let’s begin.

    Read moreUnderstanding F-Stop In Photography

    Mastering Depth of Field in Photography

    It is a common misconception that professional photographers shoot only in manual mode, that is selecting the three most important settings – aperture, ISO number and shutter speed – manually.

    In my experience, the most useful and convenient shooting mode is actually the Aperture Priority mode. With it, you can still control your ISO but your camera sets the shutter speed automatically, prioritizing your choice of aperture.

    Why do I think so? Because the choice of aperture is the main way to control the depth of field – one of the most important concepts in photography.

    Mastering the depth of field will unleash your creative freedom, allowing you full control over how sharp your image will look like.

    If you aren’t sure what depth of field is and how you can use it in your photography, keep reading. This article is right for you.

    Read moreMastering Depth of Field in Photography

    Understanding Light in Photography

    What is the single most important thing you need to take a photograph?

    I guess “camera” was the first thing that came to your mind.

    And yet there are artists out there who create images with photosensitive materials without a camera. So what do they still need?

    That’s right. They need light.

    There is no photography without light. And I’ve dedicated this next post to everything you need to know about light before you start taking well-exposed photos.

    why is light so important in photography and how to capture it

    Drawing with Light

    The word “photography” is made up of two words with a Greek origin. “Phōtos” means “light” and “graphé” means “drawing”. So to photograph is to “draw” images using light.

    Sounds like magic, doesn’t it? But it’s actually physics combined with either chemistry or electronics.

    Let’s find out how that magic happens.

    Read moreUnderstanding Light in Photography

    18 Actionable Tips for Creating Stunning Sunset Photos

    "Sunset Photography Fundamentals and Actionable Tips” is part of the Photography Basics series on PhotoTraces. You can find the rest of the articles here: Photography Basics.

    18 Sunset Photography Tips

    When you read or hear the expression, “Photography is all about light,” you clearly understand the definition of each word; however, the true meaning from a photography perspective can be elusive. It takes time to fully grasp.

    I clearly remember my first true photography experiment that accelerated my understanding of the basics of photography in regard to light.

    Read more18 Actionable Tips for Creating Stunning Sunset Photos

    How Much Should I Spend on My First Camera?

    How Much Should I Spend on My First Camera?

    This is, by far, the most common question I find myself answering again and again when I’m teaching photography.

    It sounds straightforward and simple to answer, but that is not the case at all. The question itself is motivated by a few misconceptions that beginners have about equipment and its role in photography. The question cannot be answered without first addressing these misconceptions.

    The goal of this article is to help beginners overcome the first stumbling block in the process of learning photography—equipment selection.

    Read moreHow Much Should I Spend on My First Camera?

    RAW vs JPEG – The Only Guide You Will Ever Need

    RAW vs JPEG – The Only Guide You Will Ever Need

    I did not plan on writing a dedicated article on RAW vs JPEG. Why? I thought this ship had sailed long ago and the time of heated debates over which format is better was well into the past. But, what I realized in teaching photography is that this topic is still confusing and unclear for every generation of newcomers who decide to join the exciting and wonderful realm of photography.

    Here is my attempt to write the only article you will ever need to understand the difference between RAW and JPEG. Hopefully, you will have a profound Zen experience and move forward with your photography never having to think about the issue again!

    Read moreRAW vs JPEG – The Only Guide You Will Ever Need