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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't lose focus

Lately I've been crushing on bloggers who shoot with their lenses wide open, which just means only a tiny portion of the photo is sharply in focus.
Ideally, I'd love to be completely in focus, with the background a big beautiful bokeh mess.
At some point, I decided that having my aperture set to f/2.8 was the best way to acheive this.
But I've decided to open up my lens all the way to f/1.4 and see if the trade off of detail for pretty blurriness results in a more pleasing photograph.

This first shot was taken at f/1.4, and the second f/2.8 - which do you prefer?

For those of you with SLRs, what focal length/f-stop do you like best for you outfit photos?

Poppy sunset 2.8
chambray knot
Poppy sunset hair toss Poppy sunset clutch
Poppy sunset
The Rundown
Poppy Dress Elle for Kohls - Chambray Tuxedo Shirt J. Crew - Sandals Ciao Bella Petunia - Bracelets Towne and Reese Avery - Woven Clutch London Fog - Sunnies Old Navy

48 comments:

eek said...

I typically try to keep my aperture as open as possible to get the nice bokeh. That said, the difference between the 1.4 and 2.8 wasn't huge. Both photos are great!

November Grey said...

The first photo!

StyleID said...

I am so jealous of your lens ... I need to get one that opens to 1.4. I love the 1.4 pictures.
Now, on the outfit: I adore the colors, the dress pattern and your clutch is to die for.

http://styleidnet.blogspot.com/
http://www.filomenascloset.com/

Courtney Erin said...

I don't think the difference between the apertures is really great - both photos look great!

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

Frannie Pantz said...

Love the tied button down over this gorgeous floral dress! Funny you should mention this little trick in this post. My bf has been wondering how to do this with our camera forever!

eirryn said...

Love your sandals!

Closet Fashionista said...

Yay for the poppy dress! :D And hmmm....I like both of them but if you make me choose I'd say the second, haha
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Terri said...

Oh, I like the softness of the first photo and may have to try this trick myself.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

agree with eek, the diff wasn't huge, but I love more bokeh goodness, so my vote goes to 1.4 :)

Sil said...

I think your pictures are great no matter what. But I guess I like the second picture the better. Maybe I missed this, but what kind of lens do you use?

A couple years back I used to shot black and white film. After I got my DSLR I became a little bit lazy with lenses and aperture calculations. I would like to get back into that and I would also like to invest in a lens for my DSLR.

DaniellaBella said...

I think I like the first one better. I know zero things about cameras and really have put no effort into learning them... although I probably should. All I care about right now is your amazing poppy dress! Le Swoon!

Fatshion And Fattitude said...

so stunning but i can't pick. i do like how they make you the object of my attention. loving that clutch

chocolatefashioncoffee said...

the dress is amazing!!!

chocolatefashioncoffee.blogspot.com

buttonjar said...

Hmm, I don't know much about lenses (my camera is a point and shoot). But I'm glad you pointed this out because it made me notice the effects - which are gorgeous, by the way.

I've been looking for a nice chambray shirt forever. Probably by the time I find one, the moment will be over! This look is really cute.

Lydia x

jamie-lee said...

I think I like the first pic more. Either way you look cute!

Nikki said...

I'd say picture 2 has the prettiest effect :) I wish i was able to set the aperature of my old digital camera, it focusess on everything, and only blurs the background when I zoom in one something... x

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Love this dress...the print is great!! Lyddie, why don't you join in on the Accessory Swap I am hosting..just come on over to my site and sign up. These are fun and a great way to get to know other bloggers...you are a perfect accessory lover for this event!!

The Fashionista's said...

Thanks for popping by our blog!

LOVE that dress but am madly in LURVE with that clutch. And the photo with it in focus and a soft background was simple, but beautiful.

Can't wait to read more.

~ B

MosaMuse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MosaMuse said...

beautiful purse! cute outfit :)
xo
MosaMuse
MosaMuse.blogspot.com

Girl about town.... said...

Beautiful photos. I love the dress and denim combo, not to mention the wedges!
Very chic!

Girl about Town XxX

Anne said...

I use a Canon point & shoot, so I can't help there :)

This dress is so cute, and it just screams summer. And I like it paired with your new signature look, the knotted shirt.

Ruby And Siel said...

Beautiful outfit :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

I like the 2.8. Err is this the same as aperture? I'm just starting to learn this stuff!

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Bonnie said...

I wish I was cool enough to take awesome pictures like this, but I'm not. :( First, I think I need a cooler camera. Not a simple hot pink point and shoot.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Mileide Almeida said...

your clucth is very cool!!
love!!

very married said...

the 1.4 casts a more romantic haze on the picture but 2.8 give a better sense of the outfit...

i'm still readjusting to my film SLR. i had one when I took photography lessons when I was young but when digital cameras came into being, i ditched it. now i'm back and trying to be more patient and careful with each shot.

Paislea Elyse said...

you are seriously too cute! i am in LOVE with your outfit!!!!

and i'm also loving the starfish cuff that you found located on the left side of your blog. SO cute. i'm dying to find one for myself!!

allister bee blog

Tinfoils Tiaras said...

Your clutch is so beautiful and I love how it complements your outfit to a t! I also love fashion photography with a blurry background but alas my cheap digital can't do such things...

Lorena said...

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
Maybe because I take my pics with a NOKIA cel phone... however I am not only loving your pictures but the pattern in your skirt and bag !

Alex Elizabeth said...

I think it depends on what aesthetic you want... ƒ/1.4 definitely has a softer, dreamlike quality to it, which I think is great for summer photos (especially at sunset). 2.8 is definitely sharper, it's similar to what I get with 2.0 on my 35. Your lens is much better than mine-- lucky! You could try a faster shutter speed with 1.4 (you probably do already) and see if that will increase the sharpness of you? And of course there's always PS!

Alex Elizabeth said...

Hm. You are really sharp in the Water Lily photos (at least I think so)... probably a difference in light thing?

Ellie said...

I love the first photograph, the lighting is awesome!
-Ellie

Melanie said...

I love the f/1.4 shot. So gorgeous. I'm so excited--BF just bought me the 35mm f/1.8. I haven't gotten a chance to use it too much yet, but I can't wait!

Melanie@Unravelled Threads
Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

Amber Blue Bird said...

thats some fancy photo talk. :) I like the first one better

Mrs. J said...

I like the first photo. Your dress is really pretty. I think I've seen the maxi version of that dress on a few blogs. I love that woven clutch!! :)

Mimi said...

your pictures are great, as always! i didn't really understand the camera lingo, but i definitely love the photos. ;)

and i love the print of your dress. :D

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Bad Joan said...

Love your dress! Great idea to pair it with the denim shirt!

http://blog.badjoan.com/

this free bird said...

I like the second one best...and that dress!

xo,
C
ps-resting wrist but still reading along. grandma moses over here. oy

Sorren said...

I love this outfit. Th chambray shirt works so perfectly with the colour and pattern of this dress.

I spent so much time going from the 1st to the 2nd photo and back again, but I think I favour the first! There's something so perfect about the level of background blur.

Kavery said...

Great minds think alike: I was thinking of playing around with the aperture too. I like the backgound out of focus. Keeps you beautifully sharp and clear.

Amy said...

f.28/the second shot look best to me... but I'm a sharp-as-it-gets kinda gal. The first one has a very ephemeral quality... which I think looks stellar with certain looks too. Go you for learning and experimenting though! And also go you for that fab floral and woven pattern combo! Fearless and fabulous!

Isabel said...

i like the first shot better :)

Vanessa said...

I like the 2.8! There's still a nice blurred background but you and your outfit is crisp. I vary between a 2.8 at 50 mm and a 4.6 at 70 mm.

Nic said...

so cute! i love the clutch and the contrast with the rest of the outfit.

~nic
www.nics-picks.com

Krystal said...

i agree, that is a fun way to shoot for sure!! i like them both, haha, i can't decide :)

LaynahRose said...

Wow you're really talented. Um I think i like the first one best?

Style, She Wrote said...

Very patriotic outfit! Have a Happy Fourth! xo style, she wrote