Wide Open [340/366]

The term to "shoot wide open" means to shoot with the largest aperture setting available for your lens. This is your 'brightest' setting because you're allowing more light to enter into the camera. This can, for example, give you the ability to shoot in darker conditions handheld. 

Some of the aesthetic qualities offered by shooting wide open are buttery smooth gradations, 'bokeh-y' backgrounds and pinpoint focus. But, there are disadvantages that go along with these characteristics: The shallow depth of field (your in-focus area) can be so shallow you can't get your whole subject in focus with out photoshop magic; image degradation in the form of light and sharpness fall off is more present; and, it takes a lot of practice to nail it right. 

I was out in the front yard today and noticed some old pods. The had beautiful texture and the sun was backlighting them magnificently.  The background, however, was an issue. It was littered with leaves and sticks and grass. Very chaotic and busy. 

Shooting wide open allowed me to blur out this busy background and isolating my subject. It also created subtle nuances in the brown and green tones. Very pretty!   I had to be extremely careful with my focus. As you can see, the plane of focus is extremely narrow. I had to choose what to keep sharp and what to allow to blur. 

 Mamiya 645df / Leaf Aptus-ii 7 with Hasselblad 120 f4 CF Makro-Plannar #32 tube - f4 @125th 200iso

Mamiya 645df / Leaf Aptus-ii 7 with Hasselblad 120 f4 CF Makro-Plannar #32 tube - f4 @125th 200iso