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Narrow aperture challenge #photography

If you read last week’s photography post you will know I set you a challenge to take a few photos with a wide aperture, in fact, wide open. This week, I am setting you a challenge to take a few photos with a narrow aperture. This is a little more difficult because you have to judge how narrow it should be. Take a look at this shot:

A narrow aperture brings distant objects into focus

Narrow aperture

I braved the cold on Sunday to go out and take these landscape shots near Sandwell Park Farm. That’s the farm in the distance and you can also see people and trees in the distance. I gave the shot depth by having the cyclist and the fence prominent in the foreground. Looking at the people in the distance, you might squint your eyes to see them more clearly. I think of a narrow aperture in a similar way, it brings distant objects into sharper focus. I shot this at f/8 on aperture priority and the camera set the shutter speed on 1/250 of a second. I should have taken a second shot on an even narrower aperture because I didn’t need such a fast shutter speed. If it hadn’t been so cold I would have! It isn’t a bad shot even though the sky is a little over-exposed.


Depth of field

The narrower you take the aperture, the deeper your depth of field. For this shot f/8 was great but for a shot that has objects even further away try to go even narrower. My camera will go as narrow as f/30 but that is very narrow and the narrower you go the less light goes into the camera.


In winter even when the sun is shining you don’t have so much light so raise the ISO. These shots were taken with ISO 400 and so they look quite bright. The sun was bright but there wasn’t as much light as you might imagine. To get a rough idea of how much light you have, try taking a shot set on aperture priority at ISO 100 and aperture f/16. If the camera sets the shutter speed slower than 1/100 of a second then you don’t have enough light. Raise the ISO and focus another shot to see if you can get a fast enough shutter speed. You need to raise the ISO if you’re zooming in as well. At 18mm you will probably get away with a shutter speed of 1/32 of a second (18 x 2) but zoom in, to 100mm and you need a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second (100×2) as a general guide. When you zoom in, camera shake is amplified and that tiny bit of shake or vibration will make your background less sharp unless you increase your shutter speed. You’ll get those faster shutter speeds on aperture priority by increasing the ISO.

A narrow aperture makes the background sharp and the pursuit of sharpness is what photography is all about most of the time.

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