I am a big fan of bokeh and wide apertures, I must admit. But this week I learned that I had brushed aside my tighter aperture settings for far too long. I think you actually have to work harder to bring the viewer's attention to the point where you would like it to be when you use tighter apertures. No one likes a challenge like I do.
This week our f/stops were higher, which conversely made our apertures smaller and our focus deeper. We were advised to stay around f/11 as part of our assignment, but I experimented at higher f/stops too.
I have to say that when I started this project with our dogs in the yard (I am so busy getting ready for our Easter celebration, I did not make the time to go elsewhere and find picturesque backgrounds for my tighter apertures), I realized how uncooperative our dogs can be. I had a number of ideas in my head in terms of a "plan" for my photos, but not one of our dogs would sign up on the "help mom be less frustrated" dotted line.
So, let's start with this photo.
The photo was shot at f/11, 1/125s. I used a 24-70mm lens with my ISO set at 400. This was nearing sundown. You can see how the tighter aperture has allowed me to have the fringe dogs stay somewhat clear, rather than turning into a blurred battalion. You can also see how the glider swing becomes an anchoring point. I think it's an interesting shot, even if no one wanted to help me out.
Next up is one Border Collie named Piper, who, had he been in the above shot, would probably not have looked at me either. There is nothing...nada...nil...zero...that is interesting in our yard to use as backdrop at this time of year, but Piper happened to be watching a kitty and stood very still next to a garden planter I made last summer as part of my endless hours surfing Pinterest for things to do that I do not have time for. (By the way, I've found another project for this year.)
You can see how Piper still stands out, without using bokeh, blur, or any other techniques to isolate him. He will probably be my Fourth of July timeline cover this year.
And, finally, when you least expect it, two dogs make your photographic day and all is right with the world. Below are Bethy and Lilah, who decided they would strike a pose (that I am calling "Sisters") in a perfect spot at the perfect time (setting sun glow just reaching them), and then hold it F-O-R-E-V-E-R! You really can't ask for more than that.
I and my uncooperative dogs thank you for tuning in again this week. For those of you who celebrate Easter, have a blessed day.
To see more on tighter apertures (with people whom I'm sure have cooperative dogs) start here with Trina Bauer Photography, based in State College, PA. Look for more links in the blog circle as you go along. Then get your camera out and practice right along with us.