Remember - The Closer You Get the More You Need to Stop Down

Dewy mornings are great for spider webs. This one was close to the ground with soft overcast lighting - a photo-worthy subject indeed.


Because the ground was damp, I flipped-up the LCD on the Fujifilm X100V so I wouldn't get my knees wet while I composed the shot. I wanted a super soft background, so I opened up the aperture all the way to f/2.0. I figured the web was a flat plane. It would be sharp and everything else would be lovely soft.

When I returned home and viewed the shots on my MacBook, I discovered that I had grossly miscalculated. Yes, the right side of the web was beautiful - strings of pearly dew hanging from a twig in a pattern that only a spider could design.

But the left side was out of focus! I thought for sure that I had lined up the composition so the web was parallel to the camera, ensuring that everything would be sharp. But I was wrong.

If only I had stopped down to f/4 or even f/5.6, I would have a bit more depth of field to compensate for the angle and would have rendered the subject perfectly. The background is going to be out of focus no matter what. It was way back there. The was no need to open up to f/2.0. What a dumb mistake.

There are days when I need to fall out of love with wide open aperture. Clearly, this was one of them. The moral of the story is, when you're very close to a subject, you need to stop down a bit to make sure it is sharp.

Maybe next time...

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