Open Wide - tyneholm
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Open Wide


An old adage of documentary and street photographers is “f/8 and be there,” because for many of us it is a useful setting. The main reason is that it provides sufficient reasonable depth of field for us to zone focus effectively and include lots of context in the frame, both of which are important in street photography.

However, don’t let this age-old maxim inhibit your creativity – there’s fun to be had at the other end of the scale. Try opening your lens to its widest aperture and relish some lovely bokeh.

For this assignment, choose a subject (it could be anything, dogs, police officers, debris on the floor, anything) and produce a set of nine images in the same style shot in similar conditions, and at the same aperture. Get this right and you could well be venturing into the territory of fine art photography!

View the images


  • In bright daylight you may need to lower your ISO to avoid “white out”.
  • When shooting in urban areas at night a wide-open aperture will produce beautiful spectacular highlights in the city lights.

Field Notes

  • Be aware that many lenses don’t perform at their best when wide open, so be prepared for a little softness or vignetting around the edges of the frame. This is no big deal and can be part of the attraction.