Beginner's guide to using F8 aperture.
Shoot photos with the forgiving f8 aperture that makes getting good shots easy, even for newcomers to DSLR photography.
Think of an f8 aperture as the No. 2 pencil of f-stop: It’s easy for anyone to use and good for many different photography needs. F8 and its close relative f11 are the aperture settings your camera most likely defaults to in auto mode.
Why is f8 aperture easy to use?
To understand why f8 is an aperture-range sweet spot, it helps to see where it falls between both aperture extremes. F1.8 is a wide opening, letting lots of light in and giving a fast shutter speed. This creates a shallow depth of field where only one part of a photo is in focus. F22, on the other hand, creates a narrow opening for light, slowing the shutter speed and keeping most everything in your shot in the same relative focus. F8 falls in the middle, making it a good starting aperture for beginner photographers. The f8 aperture provides the following photographic attributes:
- It provides a relatively wide depth of field, keeping most of your shot in focus.
- It gives a medium shutter speed, which keeps blurring at bay.
- It offers slight variations in focus to create depth.
When to use an f8 aperture.
The best thing about f8 aperture? It helps new photographers stop flipping through their camera settings and start taking more photos. With f8 aperture, you now have a nearly infinite number of subjects to try photographing. Here are a few easy ones to start with:
- Achieve quality landscape photos by shooting well-lit locations with a not-too-distant background.
- Shoot close-up photos with a narrow depth of field and a blurred background.
- Snap photos of the daytime sky or the nighttime moon — both can be captured well at f8 aperture.