It’s been a while since I had a camera with a macro lens. I’ll talk more about the camera in a while, but for the moment here are some shots.
And the fact is that had I stopped to think instead of just going outside and snapping, I would have thought about aperture.
I shot at f2.8 and 800ISO because the weather has turned cold and the sun has fled. That open aperture is not the best choice because the depth of field is so very small.
Depth of field is the distance front-to-back that is sharp. Anything outside of this front-to-back distance will be out of focus.
If you are not familiar with what controls depth of field, it is the aperture of the lens and distance from the camera to the subject.
The greater the aperture (i.e. the more open the lens), the less the depth of field.
And the nearer the subject to the camera, the smaller the depth of field. And that is taken to extreme with macro shots, where the depth of field can be fractions of a centimetre / inch.
So, ideally I should have chosen a smaller aperture to ensure sufficient depth of field.
However, there is a downside to using too small an aperture, which is that you won’t get that nice transition to the out of focus background.
The two photos of the poppy heads show this very well. The top of the poppy head is in focus and then the leaves and whatever else is further down the stem is just a gentle blur.
Well, in the second photo there are other poppy heads that are showing as bright spots, so not perfect.
In short, everything in photography is a balance between what you want and what you get along with what you want.