Thursday, 16 May 2013

Night Photography: Aperture

We all know what's the use of aperture in photography, it's used to control the amount of light hitting our sensor, it also controls the depth of field.

In Night Photography, aperture plays key role to create the image you want, it's particularly important for star chaser to have lens with aperture range of F1.4-F2.8 so they can shoot wide open to capture more stars. Shooting wide open has another advantage as you can shorten the shutter speed and won't get the star trail but just star point(shutter speed below 30s or less). You can see the example below where the milky way is taken with aperture number F1.4.

For people who shoot urban-scape at night, artificial light source such as street light can't be avoided at all. To control how they look in your image(depending on the design of lens diaphragm as well), aperture comes into play again. Look at the image examples below -

You can see exactly the aperture not only control the amount of light, it will affect how the artificial light source looks like in your image, if you want "orb" looking light source, you can shoot wide open(below F4) however if you want more focus light source just close down the aperture(F8 for example).

Go out and experiment with your lens and you may find them having different look than mine here because of the lens diaphragm design, I suggest you create a set of images with different aperture setting for reference purpose(just like what I did here for Lumix LX7 leica lens), then take it into consideration when shooting night images next time.

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