The Aperture is the hole which allows light to pass through onto the sensor and controls the depth of field (the detail from foreground to background) in your image. The larger the aperture; a small ‘f’ number (f/1.4), the more light reaches the sensor in a given time.
The smaller the aperture, the larger the ‘f’ number (f/16) and greater focal plane in your image. The effects of choosing a large or small aperture can be seen below.
Shutter speed explained
Want to capture movement? A slow shutter speed will blur spinning wheels and portray the essence of speed in backgrounds. A fast shutter speed will freeze action from a water droplet to the wings of a hummingbird.
By using a slow shutter speed, you are increasing the likelihood of camera shake and blurred images.
Handy Tips to better images
Avoid camera shake by matching your shutter speed to the focal length of your lens. If you’re using a 200mm zoom lens, your shutter speed needs to be 1/200 of a second or faster unless using a tripod.
Camera flash casting harsh shadows indoors? Move your subject away from walls or try turning the flash off and increasing the ISO.
Keep the background simple.
Practice panning to create motion.
With portraits, try to get the closest eye in perfect focus. You can lock on by half pressing the shutter release button.
Don’t want people in your landscape? Try using a tripod and set a long exposure of a few seconds. The moving people will magically disappear.
Try framing your landscapes so that more emphasis is given to either sky or land, depending on which is most impressive unless you are creating a reflection – again the rule of thirds works well.
Leading lines in your image will create movement or draw the viewers gaze toward the main subject of your photo, it could be a winding path, a river or fence.
An object in the foreground creates depth.
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