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## Fundamental Lessons in Photography – Understanding F-Stop Like a Professional

F-Stop is a measurement of the size of the aperture (aperture) in a lens. Some photographers refer to F-Stop as the F-number or simply the aperture setting on the camera. It all boils down to the same concept. As a professional, you should know that the origin of the letter F in the term F-Stop is often attributed to Ansel Adams, who spent a lot of time in the third of the 20th century developing optimal aperture settings and is therefore widely recognized for his contribution to photography and the development of the acclaimed Aperture Zone System.

History aside, you might be wondering what the F-Stop numbers stand for. I’ll tell you that they represent a geometric progression starting at 1 where each subsequent F-Stop number greater than 1 is multiplied by a factor of approximately 1.414, (which is the power of the square root of two). Take a calculator, enter 1, multiply it by 1.414 and you obviously get 1.414 as the answer. Now multiply your answer again by 1.414 and you will get 2 as the answer. Do it one more time and your answer will be around 2.8. If you keep doing the math, you will quickly determine the entire range of F-Stop values i.e. 1, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32 and so on up to F-Stop 45 or even F-Stop 64.

Great, now that you know what the word F-Stop means and what numbers are associated with it, you’re probably still wondering what those numbers actually mean! To explain, I’ll use a cat’s eye analogy. (If you have a cat, you’ve probably noticed this several times). When your cat is outdoors and the weather is nice and sunny, you will notice that her pupils are long and thin and look like tight vertical slits, but when your cat enters a darker interior, her pupils widen. to become large round discs very quickly. . Now this happens so your cat can see equally well in different environments where light intensities may vary.

If we relate the above analogy to the school of photography, imagine the cat’s pupils are like those of your camera’s shutter – possibly opening each time you take a picture in a lesser or a greater measure. Therefore, to allow a lot of light to reach your camera’s image sensor, you should select an F-Stop (pupil size) setting that would not restrict the amount of light entering your camera. On the other hand, if you wanted to limit the amount of light entering your camera, a high F-Stop setting would be the setting to go for.

Each time you move between the F-Stops, you halve or double the light intensity. To give an example, if you selected an F-Stop of 4.0 and then adjusted it to 5.6, then you would have halved the amount of light entering your camera. If you had set your F-Stop to 2.8, you would have doubled the light intensity. It’s important to remember that a higher F-Stop number means a smaller aperture or aperture allowing light to enter your camera. Conversely, a lower F-Stop number means more light is entering your camera. To compensate for a one step lower F-Stop number, you will need to double your shutter speed to get the same exposure. If you increase your F-Stop by one notch, you will need to halve your shutter speed to keep the playing field level.

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