Why ƒ/1.4 isn’t always best or one angle the best

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 320, ƒ/4, 1/250

How often do you photograph the same subject but try and mix it up?

I find many young photographers with lenses apertures glued to the wide open to give a shallow depth of field photos.

Maybe just closing down the aperture to ƒ/14 versus ƒ/4 can give your photos a little more relevant to what is going on in the photograph.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 18-55mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/14, 1/250

Notice how the greater depth of field helps you know this is outside a church. Well trying to say this is a photo about Easter Sunday that needed, in my opinion, a little more depth of field.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4.8, 1/140

I was photographing Tenebrae: Service of Darkness on Good Friday at my church. Now because I sat down near the front, I ended up with the microphone on the minister’s nose. Not all that flattering.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 5000, ƒ/6.4, 1/250

On Easter Sunday, I sat on the balcony and got a much better photo of the minister at the podium.

Remember to move around and find those perspectives that help keep the photo on message with little few distractions as possible.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 4000, ƒ/4.8, 1/250

Now no matter where you choose to shoot from and at what aperture, you still need to pay attention to the best moment.

Here I think the photo with the minister’s arms open wide is much better than the one below.

Fujifilm X-E2, FUJINON XF 55-200mm, ISO 3200, ƒ/4.4, 1/250

Seeing her hands here takes a little while, and the message isn’t as straightforward.

Tips to remember:

  • Shoot a variety of apertures–not just wide open or closed down
  • Look for different camera angles
  • Work the aperture/angle that you picked for the best moment