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How-to Use Aperture to Control Depth of Field (Photography Lenses)

Growing as a photographer, you are learning to control your equipment to achieve the results you want. You’re picturing the perfect photo in your mind (pun intended) and need to set your camera and lens to match that vision. Aperture is one of those crucial settings to achieve the result you have in mind.

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The aperture is the opening in the lens that light passes through to reach the sensor or film. That aperture is adjustable (see the image below) and controls depth-of-field, the area of an image that is in focus.

Controlling that aperture will fundamentally change how the final image appears. Make sure to watch the video lesson above to learn more about the impact of the setting you select, and the trade-offs you’ll encounter along the f-stop scale.

Aperture illustration example

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Controlling the settings of a lens can help you achieve the finished image that you have in mind. Aperture is truly one of those creative controls that makes manual mode so rewarding.

But aperture isn’t the only aspect o fa lens that affects how an image is rendered. You can learn more about making the right lens and settings choices in the course What Every Photographer Should Know About Lenses. You can watch that course as part of a subscription to Envato Elements, and gain access to the entire library of courses.

Check out these other lessons to help you level up your lens knowledge: