Monday, September 14, 2009

Photographing with large apertures: subtle art or shameless exhibitionism?

I've always believed that taking a close-up photo at an f-number below 4 is a more or less conscious form of technical exhibitionism. The photographer is essentially saying: "Look at how crisply I can focus my fast lens!" Often the photo would actually benefit from some additional depth of field, giving more detail to the main subject and still keeping the background sufficiently blurred so as not to disturb the composition and the viewer's attention.

Having said this, I must admit that I frequently drool when looking at large aperture photos crisply focused with my fast lenses!... Especially when taken with the Planar 85/1.4 (did I mention it is the best lens ev... yes, I think I did). So please indulge me for a moment and admire the thin depth of focus and the creamy bokeh of the shots below:

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 + extension tube

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