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What Aperture Does, In Two Photos

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Curious about why you’d want to pay attention to that f/number on your camera settings? Consider:

An Ecuadorian Ectatomma ant photographed with the aperture wide open, f/2.8

The same ant photographed with the aperture closed down to f/13. The flash power was turned up to compensate.

Same subject, same lens, same camera, very different image.

Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. FilmTimelapse 2:31 am 02/23/2014

    I know from corresponding with Scientific American, that they don’t pay their bloggers very much.

    In this case, they got even less than they paid for.

    Seriously, 2 photos, no explanation of focal depth or reduced light to the sensor? You certainly know how to teach photography! /sarcasm

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  2. 2. Carlos Solrac 12:41 am 02/25/2014

    Two different pictures, that’s all.

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  3. 3. rshoff2 4:40 pm 02/25/2014

    I don’t know, the pictures say it all, little explanation needed. This is provides more info to my brain than several paragraphs of text.

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  4. 4. Alex Wild in reply to Alex Wild 8:51 pm 02/28/2014

    I am happy to refund the money you all paid to read this post, if it’s not to your liking.

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