CS #647 - Stop It Down

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With all the buzz in the photography world lately over killer bokeh, I thought it would be a fun exercise to go in the opposite direction. Let's "Stop It Down" for a week. Two readily achievable benefits of using a smaller aperture will come as no surprise to most:
  • Maximize sharpness
  • Increase depth of field
Here are some examples of some other interesting effects of squeezing the light...

1. Diffraction of bright lights (20mm, f/16, 10")
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2. Same idea in daylight (12mm, f/11, 1/10")
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2a. Or you can use obstructions to increase the diffraction effect (20mm, f/11, 1/25")
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3. Crush a busy background into blackness (85mm, f/16, 1/160", 2 small speedlights)
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4. Blur the movement of water (55mm, f/16, 1/15")
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I look forward to seeing your images!
 
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With all the buzz in the photography world lately over killer bokeh, I thought it would be a fun exercise to go in the opposite direction. Let's "Stop It Down" for a week. Two readily achievable benefits of using a smaller aperture will come as no surprise to most:
  • Maximize sharpness
  • Increase depth of field
Here are some examples of some other interesting effects of squeezing the light...

1. Diffraction of bright lights (20mm, f/16, 10")
View attachment 1635538

2. Same idea in daylight (12mm, f/11, 1/10")
View attachment 1635543

3. Crush a busy background into blackness (85mm, f/16, 1/160", 2 small speedlights)
View attachment 1635539

4. Blur the movement of water (55mm, f/16, 1/15")
View attachment 1635542

I look forward to seeing your images!
Interesting theme and something that will be great to work on (especially darkening the background, which I haven't tried).
 
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What is "the" sweet spot? sharpest center? sharpest corners? best balance of center and corners? Compromises everywhere and a different sweet spot for each situation:).
I agree there is no unique sweet spot, but generally lens performance increases from maximum aperture to some best area, and then diminishes as the aperture is stopped further down due to diffraction.

But let's not get into an argument so early in this week's theme. :D
 
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f/16 was required to get most of these tiny hepatica blossoms in focus...

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f/13 - hard to find one at this aperture, I rarely go past f/11. D800, 105mm lens.
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Here are two examples from yesterday of a technique that benefits from increased depth of field, and one that I'm desperately trying to improve - panning.

1. 43mm, f/14, 1/25"
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2. 70mm, f/13, 1/60"
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These are obviously practice shots. For much better examples of panning technique on faster and more unique motorized subjects, take a look at some of the work by @ijm5012 - it is quite excellent.
 
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@acnomad , panning takes practice. When I first get to the track, I'm not shooting at 1/25. I'll start out at something like 1/125, and as I get acclimated I'll start slowing the shutter speed down. Even then, I still get a ton a junk. But when you get that sharp shot at 1/10 where the background is a complete blur? It makes it all worth it IMO.
 
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