Aperture and Aperol

Aperol Schvitz (a sephardic take on the spritz)

Ice
1 oz Spanish Dry Sherry
1.5 oz Aperol
1 teaspoon Simple Syrup
Generous Splash of Soda
Stir
Garnish with a slice of orange or lemon

Aperture (aka ƒ-stop)

Aperture, also known as the focal ratio, f-ratio, or f-stop

Aperture, also known as the focal ratiof-ratio, or f-stop

Aperture effects what is in focus from the film plane to the objects in front of the lens. Lens type also influences this greatly but that is another lesson. Aperture is the size of the opening in a lens which allows a relative amount of light to pass through onto the film plane or digital film sensor (ccd).

As with your eyes, the more light there is, the smaller the opening needs to be, the more in focus everything is. The less light, the larger the hole needs to be, the less in focus everything is.

Aperture confuses a lot of people with its seemingly inverse numerology. As a student at the University of Miami, it took me a while to wrap my head around it. The larger the number the smaller the hole? 

That is because aperture is a fraction. If you think of it as such it makes much more sense. For example:  f 22 vs f 2.8. Which one is the larger number? f22? nope. Think of it as a fraction. Now which is larger 1/22 or 1/2.8? 1/2.8 of course.

Unnur Valdís Kristjánsdóttir

A large or open aperture is Ideal for portraits where you want the person in focus but the rest of the picture out. A large aperture lets in a lot of light in and has a relatively little distance in front of the lens in focus (focal plane).

Bottom line? If you are working in portraiture as I often do, you want to pay special attention to your aperture. The smaller the number 2.8 or 2.0  versus 22 or 8 (aka the bigger the fraction 1/2.8 or 1/2.0) the less depth of field you have. That means the less distance in front of the lens is in focus. So if objects are at different distances from the lens (which they usually are) only a cross section of them will be in focus. Stop the aperture down to a smaller number like 1/8.0 and a greater cross section will be in focus.

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