Wide aperture shooting technique

Every photographer wants to have a wide aperture lens because the shallow depth of the field is fascinating, beautiful, and easy to highlight the subject so that people feel close resonance! Large apertures capture excellent bokeaus and smooth backgrounds, but they can be particularly difficult to use. Only when you understand the meaning of using a wide aperture can you make good work convincing. How to use a wide aperture to shoot amazing results? Here are 14 tips.

1. Wide aperture shooting skills

(1) Choose the right shooting object

The shallow depth of field is suitable for soft and beautiful things, such as spiderwebs and dandelions. It will be more soft and beautiful to use the shallow depth of the field, and it is easy to shoot large films.

Nature with a wide aperture

(2) Don’t focus and reframe.

Usually, a good way to photograph an off-center subject is to bring the subject into focus and then recompose with the focus still locked. While this technique works well in many situations, it doesn’t work well with a wide aperture. With a narrow aperture, you usually have a few inches or even a few feet to soften the subject. But at a wide aperture, even an inch of movement will throw the subject out of focus. Don’t move the camera after the focus is locked to avoid soft shots.

(3) Use close-ups to freeze space-time

Shallow depth-of-field is good for details, and when you’re shooting a portrait, it’s better to shoot a close-up of a part than a whole, provided there’s light available. Use it. It feels like time and space can standstill.

(4) Add a foreground to the backlight

Backlighting is good for simple things. Choose a simple subject, such as withered grass, with a simple background. The key is to choose the right time and the right subject.

(5) Highlight the theme with a shallow depth of field

Lots of macro works with beautifully blurred backgrounds. However, it should be noted that macro photography is not using a large aperture, often using a small aperture above F11 can also obtain the blurred effect. This is due to the shallow depth of field effect caused by the close range of macro shots.

Mountains and lakes

When shooting macro works, it is easy to lose focus or virtual focus caused by picture shake. It is recommended to use real-time frame mode to focus, improve the shutter speed, and fix the camera position to avoid mistakes.

(6) Use light spots to enrich the picture

Scatter material that can reflect light or emit light. When shooting portraits, these scatter materials can be blurred into dazzling light spots in front of the lens, thus increasing the aesthetic atmosphere.

(7) Use single-point autofocus.

Instead of using central focus, use a single point autofocus mode. The default settings on the camera usually select the object closest to the camera, or in the center of the picture. By using single-point autofocus, you can tell the camera exactly where to focus.

Change the focus area mode by going to the camera menu or using physical control (if your camera has one). If you are not sure, check your manual. Then, use the arrow keys to move the focus box you see in the viewfinder. If you are taking a portrait, place the dot on the subject’s eye, otherwise place the dot on whatever part of the photo you want to be clearest.

(8) Hold the camera steady.

The camera shakes in a wide aperture can not only cause blur but also cause you to lose focus. With a wide aperture, the error is small, so you need to hold the camera as steadily as possible to make sure it doesn’t move between focus and shooting. If you can use a tripod, that’s great. Instead, try leaning against a wall or supporting the camera with your elbows.


(9) Understand the role of distance.

Distance plays a big role in the depth of the field. A camera lens set that focuses on an object six feet away may have a focus of about two inches, but the same set of four inches can be 12 feet away from the subject. The farther away you are from the subject, the easier it is to focus on the subject. Moving the subject away from anything in the background also makes the background softer, without having to adjust the aperture.

(10) Keep everything you want clear at the same distance from the camera.

The camera’s focusing system works based on distance. When you select this focus, all objects at the same distance from the camera will be in focus. If you use a wide aperture, even objects one or two inches away will become soft. So if you want multiple objects to be sharp, they all need to be the same distance from the camera, or you need to use a narrower aperture. For example, the concept is crucial to understanding the taking of group portraits.

(11) Enhance contrast.

Sharpness is just a feeling. Our brains use contrast to determine if something is clear. If you’re shooting an object against a background with very little contrast, it’s hard to make the subject look sharp. Try composition to give more contrast between the subject and the background, or use a flash to increase your contrast by making the subject brighter. You can also adjust the contrast during post-processing.

Mountains and lakes

(12) Don’t forget the outlook.

Most beginners use a wide aperture to get a soft background, which is a great thing. However, a wide aperture can be used to blur objects in front of the subject or the foreground. Look for objects that add interest to the foreground and try to incorporate them into your shot. Check the image to see if you’ve captured the right amount of blur with the foreground object, or if you need to adjust the aperture slightly.

(13) Use the freedom preview button.

You can’t see how blurred the foreground or background is just by looking through the viewfinder. Most DSLRs have a depth-of-field preview button that Narrows the aperture when pressed, so you can see how much of the image is in focus.

It is usually located on the front of the camera’s body, near the lens. Use this button to determine if you need a wider or narrower aperture, or if you need to add some distance between your subject and the camera, or between your subject and the background.

(14) Try the degree of freedom calculator.

Aperture plays a big role in the depth of the field, but it’s not the only factor. The depth of the field is a combination of aperture, distance, and equipment.

However, by considering all the variables, you can determine the focus range of the image. Skip the complicated math and try a DOF calculator, such as the one in our list of best photography apps. The calculator tells you how close you need to get to the original focus object to stay in focus. It’s also a good way to see how distance, aperture, and lens choice affect the depth of the field.

Grassland scenery

Shooting with a wide aperture is a great tool for shooting in tricky light, and it also creates a very soft background. However, shooting with a wide aperture can make it tricky to get a sharp picture. Next time you shoot a wide-angle lens, use tricks such as single-point autofocus and enhanced contrast to increase your chances of getting a sharp shot. It’s also possible to take more than one photo, refocusing each time, in case you’re not fully sharp.

2. A new world of highly sensitive applications

For many people who use a large aperture to shoot portraits, night shooting is the best time to use large-aperture lenses. Not only can timely use the large aperture into the light to improve the shutter speed, assist the stability of the image, but also in the image to show the city has ten thousand lights charming scenes.

In the past few years, we have often encouraged players to reduce the use of high photosensitivity as much as possible in order to reduce the impact of noise on the image, and even to encourage players to flashlights to supplement the light, so that the image effect can be more intense in the style of the night.

However, with the improvement of photosensitive element technology and processor efficiency, available ISO has gone beyond the past to a higher level. Therefore, it is no wonder that over the past year, players’ ideas on portrait night shooting have been changing. They not only gradually reduce the use of flashing lights but also began to focus on the unique atmosphere led by weak light and try to use the emotions generated by light and atmosphere.

For players who want to try this genre, it is recommended to have at least a lens with a large aperture of F1.8 (F1.4 is recommended), whether it is 24mm, 35mm, or even the basic 50mm F1.8, and use high sensitivity above 1600 with Av aperture preconditions. When shooting, players can look around you first artificial light, to find out the ideal light direction, first use go light, backlight, sidelight methods such as basic capture first, after environment using the more familiar, can be free to use existing light direction, try to change, like using ultra-bright lights to make hair silk, is also a kind of good expression.


3. The relationship between depth of field and focusing distance

In addition to the wide aperture, another important aspect of depth of field formation is the focus distance. We all know that a macro lens has a rather shallow depth of field, and the reason for this is that the focus is pulled so close that the larger the magnification, the more blurred the part further away from the focus.

For use in portrait photography, using a telescopic focal length of the lens, in addition, to enlarge aperture to the fuzzy background, under the composition of acceptable range, we can also be a bit closer to the model, we can see, and the proportion of the background of the shallow depth of field effect will be more fantastic.

Another interesting problem with focusing distance and depth of field involves angular variations in real three-dimensional space. When we fixed the focus distance, the image should be clear and focused within the same depth of field distance from the camera.

We can use food to simulate condition, when we put the camera on the table, the horizontal angle of view taken food, you will find only the focus plane is clear, the background, present the bokeh into fuzzy phase, this time if we pick up the camera, the angle of 45 degrees, at that time almost a whole plate of food can show clear state, The reason lies in the range of depth of field, which can change the range of depth of field in the picture due to different shooting angles.

The same principle is used in portrait photography. We can see one is to use a flat perspective, the other is a higher perspective, in the picture as the foreground of Miscanthus, its clarity is different. If with aperture zoom adjustment, you can freely control the most suitable depth of field effect.


4. Numerical difference between focal segment and aperture

When shooting, according to the numerical difference given by the focal segment and aperture, the effect of the image can be different. It is recommended that players try large and small apertures to experience the beautiful picture presented by different bokeh. In addition, players can also find some surrounding scenery, using the principle of large aperture and shallow depth of field, to create a dreamy foreground effect, beautify the overall composition to the viewer’s impression.

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