Are you leaving your camera on 'auto' setting because it's easier or because you are unsure of what settings to use in 'manual' mode.
Aperture refers to the opening that allows light to enter the lens. A small aperture limits the light entering the lens while a larger one allows more. To chagne the size of the aperture, adjust the f-stop settings on your camera. The higher the number, the smaller the opening.
Depth of Field is something you need to consider when choosing your aperture. Depth of field is the area that's in focus in front of and behind your subject. Depth of field is determined by aperture, the focal length of the lens and the distance of the camera from the subject. Striking portraits that show a shallow depth of field are a result of a wider aperture (or smaller f-stop) such as f2 - f5.6. A smaller aperture from f8 - f22 offers a greater depth of field.
Shutter speed--> The faster your shutter speed the less time there is for light to enter your camera. When you take a picture of a galloping horse with a slower shutter speed (1/60 to 1/125 of a second for example) the shutter remains open longer so you capture the blur of the horse's movement. That same horse photographed with a faster shutter speed (1/500 of a second) will appear as a much sharper or "frozen" image because the shutter closes quickly and captures less movement. With slower shutter speeds, keep the camera stead to avoid blurring the whole image.
Check back every Monday for more shutterbug tips!!!