The relationship between aperture and focal length.
Capture more than ever on camera with these helpful tips on aperture, focal length, and how they work together.
Aperture and focal length each contribute to composition in their own unique way. When you learn how to pair different aperture and focal length measurements together, you can take gorgeous, jaw-dropping photographs.
Control depth of field with aperture.
Depth of field determines which parts of your photo are in focus — and aperture lets you control that depth of field. The relationship looks like this:
- A wide aperture gives you a shallow depth of field (only the foreground is sharp)
- A narrow aperture gives you a deep depth of field (everything is sharp)
You might want to use narrow aperture if you shoot a landscape. This will help you get as much environment as possible in the frame.
On the other hand, if you take a portrait, a wide aperture helps you turn up the emotion on a person’s face while blurring the background.
Change how much your camera sees with focal length.
Your lens’ focal length is measured in millimeters and the smaller that number is, the more your camera can see. Capture stunning shots by choosing the correct focal length — for example:
- Try a shorter focal length for landscape, architecture, and urban city photos
- Use a longer focal length for portraits, far away subjects, and sports photography
Use aperture and focal length for powerful images.
When you mix and match aperture and focal length measurements — and learn about new photography techniques — you can yield some pretty amazing results.
For example, try out a long focal length and a wider aperture setting to take a portrait of someone who’s slightly far away. This particular combination lets the subject stand out due to its shallow depth of field.
Because aperture and focal length can be challenging to adjust on the fly, toy with these settings in a photo editing app to see which combinations you like.
Want to up your photo and editing game? Explore everything you can do with Adobe Lightroom today.