How to adjust aperture f-stop settings.
Explore the difference aperture makes with useful information about f-stop and photo editing.
Photographers use aperture to experiment with focus, depth of field, brightness, and more. Learn about this powerful element, plus a few ways you can adjust it.
Change aperture with your camera’s f-stop dial.
Many cameras have a physical dial that can be turned to adjust aperture (measured in f-stops) — it’s ok if yours doesn’t have a dial, just check your camera’s general settings. Once you’ve found where the f-stop settings are, you can switch between smaller and larger f-numbers to play with the:
- Depth of field
Depending on which camera lens you have, the variations between f-stop numbers can vary widely but here’s a quick outline:
- Lower f-stop: The lower your f-stop, the wider your aperture. This gives you a focused foreground and a blurry background.
- Higher f-stop: The higher your f-stop, the narrower your aperture. This keeps your foreground and background in focus.
If you want to isolate your photo’s subject, turn down your f-stop and use a wide aperture to highlight a woman in her wedding dress or a baby looking at his father. On the other hand, you can crank up your f-stop to narrow the aperture and keep everyone’s face in focus for a crowd shot.
Try different aperture settings in post-production.
With a good photo editing software, you can have full control over your picture’s focus — regardless of the original image’s f-stop. Give these editing techniques a try:
- Focus stacking: Focus your entire photo even if there are multiple focal points.
- Selective focus: Bring a single area of your photo into focus while blending and blurring out the rest.
- Soft focus: Gently obscure the photo’s focus to give it a dreamy feel.
Because aperture settings and professional photo tips are at your fingertips during and after a shoot, it’s easy to add even more quality to each photo you take.
Explore everything you can do with Adobe Lightroom to level up your photo skills.