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Chad Perkins: Personally my favorite way to adjust exposure using the camera is with aperture. Brian Liepe: Yeah, it's a great way to adjust exposure because it's optical and not electronic, like shutter speed or ISO. You'll typically get better results from optical adjustments. Chad Perkins: One of the cool tricks with aperture is that if we open it up, we let a lot of light into the scene. In this shot there really isn't much light but because the aperture is open all the way, and also because DSLR cameras are super sensitive to light, the shot looks great.
Brian Liepe: Yeah that shot is pretty cool but you'll notice that the objects in the foreground or the objects just in front of your subject and the objects just behind your subjects are out of focus. And that's what happens when you open up your aperture, your depth of field decreases, which means your plane of focus becomes more narrow. So the distance in which objects are in focus becomes more narrow. Chad Perkins: So let's take a look at these spheres. Let's say that I wanted just one of these spheres in focus.
What I would do in the real- world is I would open up my aperture. This reduces the in-focus area to a very shallow plane allowing me to focus on just this one sphere. Brian Liepe: All right Chad, nice spheres, but let's looks at a real-world example. In this shot, I'm shooting with my aperture wide open, you can see that my subject is in focus but everything beyond my subject is out of focus completely. Now I'm going to dial down my aperture in this next shot and you can see that everything is in focus. I've got great depth of field.
Now you're probably wondering, well if I adjusted my aperture so much, why is my exposure looking pretty similar in each shot? Well that's because I'm using something called a variable neutral density filter and we'll talk about those a little bit later on. Chad Perkins: Now one of the things that I'm noticing here is that in this shot where the aperture is wide open, everything seems a little bit softer and has less contrast than the other shot where the aperture is more closed. Brian Liepe: Yeah, there is an old adage that says for any lens it will be most sharp two stops down and lower from wide-open.
Chad Perkins: So in other words, when your aperture is wide-open and also just one stop down from that, it's going to be a little bit softer then when the aperture is closed the rest of the way. So as you can see, aperture is a great way to adjust exposure, but there are some trade-offs.
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