We know that some photography lessons online for teens are all about theory. We’re big fans of getting out into the world and taking pictures—it’s the best way to get good! But if you want to become an amazing photographer, you do need to learn some theory… Like understanding aperture. 

Imagine your camera like an extension of your eye. The aperture is like the pupil—it gets wider or narrower to let more or less light in. By adjusting the aperture on your camera, you can control how much light comes in! 

Imagine how you can use that to take better pictures. And there are some other exciting things that aperture does too. Read this quick online photo course for teenagers and you’ll have pro-level knowledge when you’re done

Understanding Aperture 

If you look right into the lens of your camera, you can see how aperture works. It happens in a split second, but the lens opens and closes when you take a picture, like this: 

Most photography lessons online for teens will teach you the theory. But how do you use it to take amazing pictures? Keep reading and put these skills into practice! 

photography lessons online for teens


The f/number, or f/stop, refers to your camera lens’s field of view—that relates directly to how wide your aperture opens. The wider it opens, the more your camera can “see”, and the narrower it is, the less it can see. 

There’s a trick here—a small number means a wide opening, and a big number means a narrow opening. So, if you choose an f/stop of f/2.8, the hole in the lens will open much wider than if you choose f/16, for example. 

So a smaller f/stop means your camera sees more light and more of the picture in front of it. A larger f/stop means less light and a smaller range of vision

Every time you go up one f/stop, it halves the amount of light coming in, which almost no online photo course for teenagers tells you. Knowing this bit of information means you can use it to play with light in your photos! 

online photo course for teenagers

Depth of Field 

The depth of field is how much of your picture is sharp and in focus. If you look at the pictures below, you can see it clearly: 

In the first one, the object closest to the camera (leaf) is sharp, and the road in the background is blurry. In the second picture, the object closest to the camera (grass) is blurry, and what’s further away (the cat) is in focus. Both of these are called a shallow depth of field—only a small part of the photo is in focus. 

The smaller the f/number, the more blurred your background will be, while your subject will be sharply focused. On the other hand, the larger the f/number, the more will be in focus; the subject and the background. This is called a deep depth of field

So, by adjusting the aperture, you can control how much light your camera “sees” and what parts of the picture are sharp or blurry

But it’s also important to know that the depth of field can be affected by other things too, like how close you are to the subject and the focal length your camera is set to. Photography lessons online for teens will give you a good idea of everything that goes into it! 

online photo course for teenagers
photography lessons online for teens

Auto Camera Settings 

If you want to experiment with aperture and see how it changes your photos, set your camera to Av modeaperture priority. This will allow you to select your f/stop number and it’ll change the shutter speed automatically for you. 

If you’re nervous about using manual settings on your camera, you can switch between the flower setting for close-up photos and the landscape setting for further-away pictures. You can move to Av mode when you’re more confident! 

Choosing the Right Camera Settings 

Most photography lessons online for teens will simply tell you which settings to choose for which photos without explaining why. But now you know all the ins and outs of aperture, so we’re going to go into some more detail about what settings to use for different photos

You don’t need to understand detailed settings to be a good photographer! But as you get better and better, knowing how these work will allow you to really use them to your advantage and create artistic photographs. 


Whether you’re doing a portrait indoors or outdoors, using a smaller f/number will help to blur the background and make the person stand out. But there are a few things to consider to get the best portraits. 

  • If you’re outdoors, use a fast shutter speed to stop too much light getting in (if you’re on Av mode, this will happen automatically) 
  • For indoor portraits, make sure there’s enough light to keep your shutter speed high OR increase your ISO. We recommend using natural light if possible. 
  • It’s a good idea to use a tripod when using a small f/number, to avoid too much blur. 

Landscape Photography 

If you like taking pictures of amazing views, use a larger f/number (f/8 to f/16). This will make sure everything is in focus—the stuff closer to you and the mountains, trees, and features far away too. 

When you’re outdoors, you usually won’t need to worry about light. It’s all around you, so you can use a high shutter speed without worrying. If you want to blur running water (like a waterfall), then use a tripod and a slow shutter speed (1/30 or so). 

photography lessons online for teens


Close-up photography (also called macro photography) works really well with a larger f/number. This will bring out all the fine details but blur the background, so the subject is the thing that gets attention! 

Remember, the closer you are to the subject of your photo, the more the background will blur naturally. A slightly faster shutter speed will help, especially if your hands are a little shaky! 

With macro photography, experimenting is the best way to learn! Photography lessons online for teens will give you the basic theory, but try new things, play with your aperture, and see what you can come up with. 


If you’re photographing buildings, your aperture will depend on what your goal is. If you want the full view to be in focus, then a higher f/stop (f/8 to f/16) will work well. 

For creative architectural photography, you can drop the f/number a little. You might get the bottom of the building in focus and the top blurred, giving the impression that it’s extremely tall. Play around and have fun! 

photography lessons online for teens

Photographers to Follow 

Taking photography lessons online for teens is a great start to becoming an excellent photographer. But when your course is finished, it’s up to you to keep learning! 

You can get out in the world and experiment, but you can also follow some great photographers, study their pictures, and learn from them. Check out these legendary photographers and see if you can spot the depth of field and get an idea of aperture in each of their pictures! 

No online photo course for teenagers will give you the same experience as studying these photos, learning to see depth of field and exposure, and practicing. Have fun trying to replicate some of these photographers! 

Take an Online Photo Course for Teenagers! 

Ready to dive into the best photography lessons online for teens and take your skills to a whole new level? Our online photo course for teenagers is designed to take you from an okay photographer to a great one in as short a time as possible. 

Start here and you’ll be well equipped to go out into the world with your camera and take spectacular pictures of anything and everything!

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Are you interested in any of our Teens or Kids online photography courses or workshops? We would love to hear from you. You can send us a message or feel free to email us.

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