What is the best aperture for food photography? Spare 15 minutes of your time on an exercise that will help you understand how the aperture works. Here are a few things I would like to explain:

What is the role of the aperture or rather, what is its function?

The aperture is an opening of the lens that allows the light to reach the camera sensor. The aperture with which you choose to shoot will control two things:

  • The amount of light that will reach the sensor
  • The depth of field

A big aperture (f / 2.8) will allow the camera sensor to reach a greater amount of light and make a shallow depth of field (blurred background aka bokeh).

A small aperture (f / 8) will let less light to the lens sensor and will make a greater depth of field (more things from the background will be on a focus).

I can’t tell you, which is the most appropriate aperture for your scene. There isn’t simply one. It all depends on the distance to the object.


Keep in mind: f / 2.8 is a shallow depth of the shooting field. If you are very close to the subject, you may have only an almond (on your almond croissant) in focus and everything else to be blurred. You won’t be even able to tell what exactly you took a shot of in such shallow depth of the field. If you step five steps back and shoot the croissant again with a f / 2.8 aperture, the whole object will be in focus.

The right blend depends on three things:

  • the amount of light that needs to reach the sensor
  • the depth of field you want to have
  • the distance to the object

15-minute exercise

This was the first exercise I did when I bought a camera. I also recommend it to you because it will help you understand how the aperture works.

Pick whatever object you want – I used an apple. Put it on a plain background (I put it on a table).

Shoot at a distance of about one meter from the object.

Start taking photos from the lowest aperture of your camera – f / 1.8, f / 2.8, f / 3.2, f / 3.5, f / 4, f / 4.5, f / 5.8, f / 8, f / 10, f / 11

When you’re done, move to about two meters away from the object. Retake photos for each f value from f / 1.8 до f / 11.

Upload the pictures on your computer and compare those that have the same aperture and different distance to the subject. Pay attention to the difference in the depth of sharpness.

Chocolate muffins

Use different f – values ​​when starting to shoot. Change the distance to the object. Finally, choose the frame that looks the best. Over time, you will learn at what distance, what aperture is appropriate.

Soon I will publish the last article on ‘How to Improve Photos at Home’ which will focus on the exposure. And don’t stop experimenting!

See you soon! 🙂