A small number in f-stop means more light and a larger number will be less light. This is the circular opening inside the lens that’s adjustable and regulates how much light goes through the lens and hits the sensor.
Basically, it’s a hole in the lens that you can control by adjusting it smaller or bigger. Very little light gets to the sensor if it is a small hole. On the opposite end a big hole, the lens becomes like an open fire hydrant with light pouring through it. Think of it like your faucet in the kitchen sink. A quarter of a turn and the water is just dribbling out, small hole aperture. Open the faucet all the way and the water comes rushing out, big hole aperture. If you understand your cameras capabilities and the basics of photography, the quality of the images you take will increase greatly.
Next let’s talk about exposure. Both aperture and exposure really go hand in hand when we are talking about the basics of photography. Exposure is how much light hits the sensor and the length of time. Two things a photographer has control of. A few terms you’ll hear all the time is “bad exposure” “good exposure” “under exposed” and “over exposed.” Exposure is the amount of time it took your camera to capture the image, plus the amount of light it allowed in. As an example, I would say that, “I shot that at 1/60th at f/5.6 and ISO 400.”
Alright: The 1/60th is 1/60th of a second. This is the shutter speed. Shutter speed is how fast your camera shutter opens and closes. A quick way to understand the shutter speed is to look at your camera. The higher the number the faster the shutter speed the lower the number the lower the shutter speed. Fast speeds are usually 1/250th of a second on up to 1/8000th of a second. These types of fast shutter speeds are mostly used in brighter conditions. Darker environments need slower speeds, ranging from 1/30th of a second or so all the way to 10 seconds or more. One thing to consider when you are taking photos at the longer shutter speeds is camera shake, so you may want to consider a tripod or practice a steady hand. I hope these examples are making it clear why you need to know the basics of photography.