Plainly stated and bluntly put, an aperture is nothing more than a hole. Sorry to disappoint you. You’ve probably heard of ‘aperture’ in wedding photography terms and you’ve probably wondered what it means… When thinking of Gauteng wedding photography or any other wedding photography, and more specifically a wedding lens, an aperture is just a hole (through the lens) in which light reflected off your wedding bridal couple travels through. It is really as simple as that.

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I will use the following analogy to help you better understand aperture:

Lets take the understanding of aperture on step deeper. Imagine the individual rays of light (reflected of your wedding subject, be it a cake, a bride, a guest or evening the entire wedding venue) entering your wedding photography lens as being an infinite number of ‘light’ arrows, shot by an army of archers, and lets say they are protecting a medieval castle. Now if you had a small hole in your lens, in other words a narrow aperture and you were pointing your camera straight at the archer’s bows, then the likely hood of the arrows entering your lens to be dead straight, or technically speaking, greatly collimated, is very high, because the archers are aiming at you and you’re stupidly pointing your wedding camera at them!

On the other hand, should you increase aperture really wide open, you would have arrows coming in all over the place, possibly even from the archers at whom you’re not directly pointing your wedding camera, which would result in only a few of these ‘light’ arrows, or rays of light, entering your camera ‘straight on’ being collimated or very parallel to one another.

From this ‘light’ arrow analogy it stands to reason that in your wedding photography lens and wedding camera combination, the rays of light entering the camera will eventually strike an image plane, regardless of what direction they are coming or how straight they are. If the rays strike this plane (image sensor) in a highly collimated (parallel) fashion, which can only happen if you set your wedding photography camera to a very small aperture, then the resulting photograph will be in sharp focus and most of the detail in the frame will be sharp, from the brides eyes to her cousin sat stood behind her hoping to get into the picture. On the other hand, if you open up your aperture setting, in others word drop your F-Stop to as low as your lens can go, say 2.8, then the rays of lights imprinting themselves on your optical sensor would be un-collimated or somewhat scattered resulting in a situation where you will only realize a really sharp and crisp focus for some of the light rays entering your equipment and so your brides eyes would be crystal clear but the cousin behind would hardly be recognizable.

The result of parallel light rays or a small or narrow aperture setting (high F-Stop above say 11) is a wedding photograph which is very sharp over the entire frame and one any Johannesburg Wedding photographer can be proud of. Conversely, the result of a large or broad aperture (F-Stop say 1.2) is a Johannesburg wedding photograph in which your couple onto whom you focused on is barely sharp, but the rest of the photo is blurred or in photographic terms, the photograph has a high degree of bokeh to it — the extent of which depends on the aperture ability of your wedding lens. But remember the golden F-Stop trade off. High F-Stop photos, say over 5.6 are plain and are never arty. Low F-Stop wedding photos, where only a certain something is in focus, are arty, different and add subtle pleasantries to your wedding photographs which might just be the envy of other Gauteng wedding photographers…