Know your stuff Why aper­ture af­fects how the sun ap­pears in your im­age, and how can you use that to your ad­van­tage

Getaway (South Africa) - - Photography -

We’ve dis­cussed how shoot­ing with a smaller aper­ture will (gen­er­ally) give you a sharper over­all im­age, but there’s an­other fac­tor to con­sider when shoot­ing into the sun: the size of your aper­ture af­fects the way its rays are cap­tured. This is due to dif­frac­tion. As you close down your aper­ture, the shape of the hole through which light en­ters your cam­era be­gins to have an in­creased defin­ing ef­fect on your light source. At re­ally small aper­tures, even the junc­tions be­tween your aper­ture blades start to im­pact that shape – you’ll no­tice your light source start to streak. These are called sun­bursts (or star­bursts). Shoot with a nar­row aper­ture for im­ages in which you want the sun to be more of a sub­ject. The nar­rower your aper­ture, the more de­fined it will be. Close it down to f/18 or more if you want to in­clude sun­bursts in your im­age. This ef­fect will be ex­ag­ger­ated even more if the sun is ob­scured slightly by fore­ground ob­jects such as trees. Shoot with a wider aper­ture for scenes with a warmer glow. Shots with wider aper­tures tend to have a more dreamy, invit­ing feel be­cause your light source is less de­fined and con­trib­utes more to the over­all warm hue of the im­age.

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