Restrictions on Aperture — I Felt Restricted

Ten days or so ago I posted on Face­book that it was going to be an f/2.8 day (using large aper­tures) and a strange thing hap­pened —  it was quite unex­pected actu­ally. What hap­pened was that I found myself hand­cuffed — unable to shoot. This seemed strange to me because I’ve put restric­tions on myself for fun a few times in the past but never an aper­ture restric­tion. In the past it was shoot­ing with a spe­cific focal length or delib­er­ately using an extra-high ISO or shoot­ing with a spe­cific theme in mind.

But this aper­ture restric­tion was dif­fer­ent for me and in ret­ro­spect I can see why. It depends on what play­ground you hang out in. If you are mainly a por­trait per­son, you shoot cre­ative por­traits wide open; that’s cool and fun…but it’s eas­ier because there is already some guid­ance with regard to sub­ject mat­ter. But when you go out ‘just to shoot’ and you’ll shoot just about any­thing that’s visu­ally inter­est­ing, then it gets harder.

For some crazy rea­son I found myself search­ing for scenes that I felt were wor­thy of what f/2.8 can do bokeh wise. I was plac­ing this sin­gle aspect of the lens above all else and it was taint­ing my expe­ri­ence of look­ing for scenes to shoot. It was slow­ing me down and suck­ing from the joy of pho­tog­ra­phy for pure pleasure.

So for this rea­son — I didn’t like this par­tic­u­lar aper­ture restric­tion exer­cise even though I DO like the con­cept of restric­tion exer­cises in gen­eral. Maybe it’s also because I feel like I should have been able to over­come the restric­tion more eas­ily. Truth is, I really didn’t feel like I had any­thing of value on day 1. Then life gets busy and so I took a few days and waited more patiently for scenes where a large aper­ture seemed more appro­pri­ate. Here are a few that I liked. These were all taken near f/2.8 (I say near because I used a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent lenses whose largest aper­tures were near f/2.8).

Vorsky - ISO 200 f/1.8 1/100

Vorsky — ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/100

Beer Kitteh - ISO 3200 f/2.5 1/80

Belle Gueule — Beer Kit­teh — ISO 3200, f/2.5, 1/80

Not Recommended - ISO 200 f/2.8 0.3

Not Rec­om­mended — ISO 200, f/2.8, 0.3

Light Trip - Palais Des Congres - Montreal - ISO 200 f/1.8 1/2500

Light Trip — Palais Des Con­gres — Mon­treal — ISO 200, f/1.8, 1/2500

Past Reflections - ISO 200 F/1.8 1/200

Past Reflec­tions — ISO 200, F/1.8, 1/200