This past Saturday, I attended a photo workshop at Longwood Gardens. The workshop was to Master Depth of Field. But unless you are one of those extremely brilliant people who have a strong talent and technical mastering of the camera, I find I cannot seem to master much of anything even over years and years of practice. Perhaps it’s because I tend to always look for flaws so that I can improve or learn, or perhaps I’m too critical. Whatever the case may be, I took the challenge and wanted to shoot at the same settings varying only the f/stop to change the area of the subject that was in focus.
The first setting I used was f/2.8 at 100 ISO, 1/100 second, using a 60mm macro lens. As you can see, only a small area of the flower is in focus.
The next shot I took on f/8, 100 ISO, 1/13 second with 60mm macro lens. This one had a much larger area of sharpness throughout the subject. You can see sharpness in the lines of the flower petals and the flower overall is much sharper than when shooting at a wide open aperture such as f/2.8. Even at f/8 the background of the flower is still out of focus. Had I further increased my aperture to f/16 or f/22 I would have gotten a larger area in focus. I stopped at f/8 because there was a slight breeze and I did not want to increase the ISO higher to compensate for the slower shutter speed. I do wish I had just increased the ISO and taken more time with this lesson as I really love the composition and detail displayed in this blue poppy in full bloom.
Enjoy the spring and all the flowers that will soon bloom!