Mmmm...Photography Pi...

March 14, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Yes!!  It's one of my favorite days of the year!  Pi Day!  Yep, that's Pi.  As in math.  As in the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of a circle.  As in 3.14159...  And today is March 14, or 3/14.  Get it?

Anyway, like it or not, Pi plays a very important role in photography because Pi is used to calculate the area of a circle.  Area=Pi x Radius^2 (e.g.  the area of a circle equals Pi multiplied by the radius muliplied by the radius).

Um, yeah, ok, you say?

Well, what about photography is circular?  Why, it's the opening of our lens shutter, which is otherwise known as the aperture.  Now granted, apertures aren't perfectly circular but as any good mathematician would do we can certainly use a circle to approximate the area of the shutter opening.  Besides, the more open a shutter is, the more circular it becomes.

And why is aperture important?  Aperture plays a major role in how much light enters the camera, and it controls how much of a picture is in focus, and it can make or break our bokeh.

There's a lot of math I could go into, but I'll spare you.  Just know that when you look at the way photographers designate an aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/22, there's a Pi buried in there!

Grab a fork and dig in!


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