What is Aperture in Photography

Aperture, one of the photography basics, is the opening between the lenses (similar to the pupil of our eye) that lets the light into the image sensor. Wider the aperture opening, more light enters the sensor resulting in a brighter image and vice versa.


The lens aperture is measured using f stop scale (f-number): f1.4, f2, f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22 and so on. A smaller f-number means wider aperture/opening while a larger f-number means smaller aperture/opening.

So, f1.4 is the smallest f-number meaning wider opening, so more light will enter, making the photograph brighter. f22 is the largest f-number meaning smaller opening so less light will enter, making the photograph darker. However, the smallest and largest f-number will vary depending on the Lens you are using.


As you move from smaller f-number to larger f-number, you are decreasing the amount of light, while moving from larger f-number to smaller f-number adds more light.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

To understand Aperture, Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Aperture.

What is Aperture in Photography

You can play with the aperture settings to create a bright or dark image as per your creative purpose.

To understand Aperture Settings, Click on the Image below to see the Comic wherein Jo experiments with different Aperture Settings and succeeds in mastering Aperture.


Aperture is part of the Exposure Triangle, the other two being – ISO and Shutter Speed which plays a key role in achieving the desired photograph/image.

Exposure Triangle

While exploring different modes on your DSLR camera, try the Aperture Priority Mode wherein you can control the aperture setting. Based on the aperture you have set, the camera will set the Shutter Speed for you for correct exposure. Learn more about Aperture Priority Mode here.

Aperture also affects Depth of Field, one of the photography basics. When the aperture is set at a smaller f-number say f5.6, the subject stands out but the background will appear blur, this is known as Shallow Depth of Field. And when the aperture is set at a larger f-number say f22, the background will be visible beyond the subject, this is known as Deep Depth of Field. Learn more about Depth of Field here.

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