Friday Photo Fun – What is Aperture and How Can it Improve Your Dog Photos?


Oh no - The trees in the foreground are in focus, but Alfie is blurry! I have accidentally focused on the trees in the foreground, and the shallow depth of field has pushed Alfie out of focus. A higher f number would have solved the issue! Shot with 1/500 and f4.8

Another Week – Another Friday Foto Fun

Its Linda here again behind the keyboard, back with another week of Friday Foto Fun.

We talked about action dog photos last week, and judging by the positive feedback and the amount of comments and questions to that post – it seems like I’m not the only one struggling with unwanted motion blur! Jen, from My Brown Newfies Blog actually gave me an idea for the coming couple of posts. She’s just got a new camera and is learning how to use it – just like me with my new Nikon D7000!

Taking dog photos is not easy at the best of times and I imagine there are probably more  budding dog photographers just like us out there, trying to get to grips with all the buttons and settings as the same time as wiping the lens clear of dog drool and keeping an eye on the dog so he doesn’t take off with the tripod.

So, I hope  you’ll all enjoy a series of posts going through the camera basics and how they apply to dog photography? Lets start with Aperture and the Aperture Priority Setting! I have posted the more detailed instructions on Hubpages in case you’d like to have a peek.


Standard portrait setting, the shutter speed is 1/500 and the aperture f5.6 – Alfie is in focus, but the background has been blurred out.


Creative blur using a small aperture number - Alfie's eyes are in focus, but his nose and the background are blurred. Shot with 1/160 and f1.4


Using Aperture to cut out clutter: A shallow depth of field has blurred out the clutter in the background - shot with 1/500 and f1.4

A higher f-number has made the clutter in the background more visible - shot with 1/250 and f5.0

The cluttered background is now ruining this composition as it is also in focus - shot with 1/40 and f16



Shutter speed 1/250 and aperture f10 - in focus all the way back



  1. says

    That’s really helpful … I always wondered what the teccy terms mean (and do!) :-) Now she can buy a camera and won’t have to pretend she know ‘s what all the buttons do :-)

  2. says

    Love my D7000. :) And yes, Aperture is definitely a photographers friend – especially when shooting around distracting backgrounds (like indoors). Love the sky in the last shot!

    • says

      I”m loving my Nikon D7000 too – it is soo much better than my old D50, but I’m still getting used to all the settings. Aperture priority is my favourite setting, its such a powerful tool, and easy to use! :-)

  3. says

    I loved this post! Aperture is the only thing I’ve been struggling with, and this cleared that right up! BTW, how are you liking your new Nikon? I’ve had my d3100 for about 7 months and I LOVE it
    Nola’s Mom

  4. says

    Mom is still working on trying to understand the whole settings thing and gets confused with apeture so your little tool helped it click a bit with her. She has another class this week, see if she learns anything. We appreciate the tips as we have a NIkon 3100, and tips from other Nikon users are nice! Thanks for sharing and happy photographing!

  5. says

    Hey Alfie’s Mom,

    We LOVE this series!! I guess my Mum loves it more, I know it means she’s gonna practice more on me – doh! She hasn’t got a fancy camera, but I think she’d like one eventually, great to learn how you make those amazing pictures – and of course, you’ve got such a great model!! :)

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  6. says

    Oh this was awesome! I am going to come back and back to this post often! I was messing around a lot with my camera last week and for some reason I just couldn’t get the shot I wanted. I spent hours trying to blur out the background, I think I was focusing wrong!
    Thanks so much for this post Linda!

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