Photography Terms You Should Know: Aperture

My great big list of important photography terms.As part of my goal to share knowledge and free photography resources here is a photography term you should know:


What is aperture? It is the opening inside the lens which is often adjustable and used to control the volume of light that enters the camera. The size of our Aperture impacts the depth of field which is the depth in the area around what we're focused on which appear sharp. Aperture is measured in f-stops. Because lenses are round f-stops come in numbers that don't seem to make sense at first. They often are listed as follows: f4, f5.6, f8, f11, etc. This is because we're dealing with circles.

Aperture is one setting that makes up our exposure triangle. These are the three variables that affect our exposure. The other two are shutter speed and sensitivity often referred to as ISO.

Each whole  f-stop allows in half or double the amount of light of the full stop next to it. For example f5.6 allows in twice as much light as f8 and half as much light as f4. Therefore f4 allows in 4 times as much light.

More photography terms you should know

Look for my guide to important photography terms dropping soon! Do you have a photography term that you'd like to know more about? Contact me and ask me to feature it on the list. Be sure to check out my full list of free photography resources to help you improve your knowledge of photography.

More about Aperture

Want to know more about aperture? Check out the Wikipedia page on aperture. Here is some more information specifically about the measurements that we use for aperture - f-stops and why they look so strange: Read more about f-stops here.

November 7, 2022 | Don Orkoskey
Post Categories:
Photography Terms
Post Tags:


Hours & Info

5844 Walnut St. #W3
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Open by appointment

I'm so glad that you're here. I love to provide incredible headshots, family photos, and event photography as well as to teach photography. I also really enjoy providing wonderful free content for those looking to learn photography. In order to spend time creating all this great free content it would really help me out if you'd use one of my affiliate links to buy any equipment that you're interested in purchasing.

My Amazon Affiliate Link