Sunday, October 9, 2011


A 20mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.7 is a very cool lens to play around with. It forces you to look at things differently -- and that's always a good thing. The beauty of this lens is (a) it's small, (b) it's fast, and (c) it's easy to focus on a foreground object and have everything behind it go soft, soft, soft.

I decided that today I would limit myself to this one lens and always have it set to f/1.7. As a result, I lost out on photographing a couple of cute cats we encountered on our walk, but that was okay, I was on a QUEST!

In a restaurant, I set the camera on the table and focused on a spoon. All the condiments in the background are completely out of focus, but they still retain their shapes enough to be recognizable.

In Nye Beach, I focused on a foreground post and let everything else, including the beach in the background, go out of focus. Same thing in the picture of the "open" sign: The lettering is in focus, but everything else went soft. THIS is the beauty of this fast lens -- shallow depth of field.

The lens focuses rather closely, too, enabling me to shoot a couple of wet hydrangea blossoms and a starfish affixed to a garden gate. And in the last picture, I used the lens just as a "normal" lens, the only difference is that I had to move in much closer to fill my frame, much more so than I would with a longer lens. Since I use a longer lens most of the time, it was a novelty having to step right up to my subject rather than lurking in the shadows.

Thanks to the "bears" for this wonderful gift of new eyes. They know who they are. ©Carol Leigh


  1. Now that is a challenge to all of us to get out with a normal lens and see what we can do.

  2. It's actually a fun challenge. Yes, you do miss out on some shots, but it encourages you to take more different, more creative shots. Thanks for commenting. --Carol Leigh


I know it takes time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate it when you do. Thanks!