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?

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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.

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How to Add a Vignette in Photoshop and Lightroom in 30 Seconds or Less

How to Add a Vignette in Photoshop

What is Vignetting?

In optics and photography, vignetting is the difference in brightness between the center and the edges of the image. In plain English, vignetting means that the further we move from the center of the image, the darker it becomes.

There are two types of vignetting.

One is unintentional and is generated by photography equipment. We do not have much control over this type of vignetting since it occurs when we take the photo.

Another type of vignetting is the one we deliberately create in post-processing. This serves as a creative tool in producing photographs.

Read moreHow to Add a Vignette in Photoshop and Lightroom in 30 Seconds or Less

How to Straighten a Photo in Lightroom – 3 Step Approach

It’s rare when we take a photograph the geometry of the shot doesn’t require any corrections or tweaking. In fact, it is almost a certainty that, with most photos, we will have to correct various types of distortions and imperfections.

How to Straighten a Photo in Lightroom – 3 Step Approach

The good is thing is that Lightroom gives us more than enough tools to deal with these issues.

Today, I want to address three main types of geometric imperfections that we face most often in our photographs and how I approach them in my editing workflow.

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Introduction to Lightroom Rapid Editing System

How the change in my photo editing workflow made me a better photographer

Do you know what two factors are vital in establishing your style in photography?

Time and consistency.

Let me introduce my photo editing system that not only saved me an enormous amount of time editing, it also made my photography more consistent.

Essentially, this system helped me develop and establish my personal style.

I know it can help you as well.


You Will Learn:
  • How the evolution of the photography affected the way I edit my photos
  • How two levels of Lightroom preset editing helped me develop the Rapid Editing System
  • How to apply the Rapid Editing System in a real life scenario with detailed demonstration

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Lightroom Range Mask – Advanced Luminosity and Color Masking in Lightroom

Lightroom Range Mask – Advanced Luminosity and Color Masking in Lightroom

When Adobe dropped a bombshell by killing a stand-alone Lightroom 6, renaming Lightroom CC to Lightroom Classic and releasing a brand-new cloud base Lightroom CC, it evoked a very strong reaction from photography community. The reaction was raging from the anger to confusion and doubt.

The occasional Lightroom users were angry because they did not see the need for the Creative Cloud subscription because they used Lightroom few times a year only and never opened Photoshop in their lives.

The beginners were completely confused because they had no idea what version of Lightroom they needed.

The professional photographers started to have doubts about the future of Lightroom Classic, the primary tool to run their businesses.

Behind this commotion and confusion, the announcement of a new feature in Lightroom Classic was almost missed.

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Backup Strategy for Travel Photographers

The photography industry is moving forward at an astonishing speed. Technology constantly changes the way we take, edit, share and publish photos.

In the last years, my photography workflow has completely changed. Since I switched to mirrorless, it feels like I have a computer in my hands instead of a camera. It will not be long before a camera won’t be any different from a smartphone and more like a mini computer whose primary function is to take photos. 

Backup Strategy for Travel Photographers

The way camera sensors keep improving is also amazing. The dynamic range, the pixel count, the sensitivity—all of it—is absolutely astonishing.

But, there is one area of photography that has not changed much in the last five to seven years and that is digital file management for travel photographers. Or, to put it simply, bringing your precious photos back home and safely storing them.

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Review: The Art of Photography by Jimmy McIntyre

Review: The Art of Photography by Jimmy McIntyre

If you’ve been following PhotoTraces.com, you know that Lightroom is a central piece of my digital photography workflow. I use it for nearly every facet of the entire photography process from organizing and selecting the best images to editing and publishing.

If Lightroom is central to my photography workflow, then the RAW image format is the cornerstone of my editing philosophy. I strongly believe that the RAW format is the most flexible because it allows me to achieve my artistic vision in the shortest amount of time. I stay in a nondestructive RAW environment as long as possible and only go beyond RAW if and when it is absolutely necessary.

But, even with the latest developments in Lightroom’s advanced tools and features, it is not always possible to achieve the desired result in Lightroom alone. Sometimes, you need extra help.

This is when Photoshop comes into play.

I rasterize the RAW files by converting them to a pixel-based format like TIFF, PSD, JPEG and finish my editing in Photoshop.

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Mobile Editing Workflow for Travel Photography

My desktop computer is the central piece of my travel photography editing workflow. This is where I keep a master copy of all my photographs. The backup process is automatically triggered as soon as I add new photos to my master photo library.

Mobile Editing Workflow for Travel Photography

In my photography workflow, my laptop is an extension of my desktop computer. For each trip, I create a temporary Lightroom Catalog on my laptop and I continuously add new photos to it as my trip progresses. Once my trip is over, I merge the temporary Lightroom Catalog with my master catalog on the desktop and move the newly acquired photos along with it.

For a long time, a mobile-only workflow was impossible when taking multi-day photography trips. Cameras from virtually every manufacturer were lagging in terms of connectivity and mobile integration making it painfully difficult to use them in a mobile ecosystem.

But, luckily for us travel photographers, the trend is starting to change. More often in my travels, I find myself using a purely mobile workflow.

Today, I’d like to share how I use a mobile-only setup for my travels.

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Virtual Photo Scouting – How to Plan and Scout a Photography Trip

Don’t you hate it when, after spending hours driving and hiking to an amazing spot, you realize that you missed the sunset by 15 minutes? Or the scene of the Milkyway over an iconic mountain is ruined by a full moon?

Virtual Photo Scouting – How to Plan and Scout a Photography Trip

Those are the moments when you truly understand the importance of planning and scouting in travel photography.

For a long time, traditional in-person scouting was the only way to go. You visit the location in advance and spend a day or two getting familiar with the area to pinpoint the best spots, angles and timing.

This approach still works, but it is extremely impractical for travel photography especially when it comes to long driving trips.

When I go on a long driving trip, my goal is to visit one specific location every day of the trip. With traditional scouting, this would double or even triple the length of my trip, which is both impractical and expensive.

Lucky for us, technology has reached a level where traditional scouting can be complimented by or even completely replaced by virtual scouting. It can even be done prior to the trip!

For a long time, my scouting routine was an evolving process where I tried to keep up with the latest technological advances.

But, in the last few years, my scouting process finally reached a level where I no longer actively look for shiny new tools or apps. I am so happy with my current method that I can’t wait to share it with you!

Read moreVirtual Photo Scouting – How to Plan and Scout a Photography Trip