I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen


50mm, f/1.4 ISO 100, 1/8000s

Wide open. Oh, how do I love thee. This is my pretty 50mm lens, all the way wide open at f/1.4.

Oops, just checked the metadata. Turns out I was at 1.6. Probably because I was at my fastest shutter speed , 1/8000s, and couldn't open up any more without overexposing. Still, pretty lovely. Has its disadvantages, though. See that white blob to the right of the fishing pole? It's a bit hard to make out. That blob was a sailboat once upon a time. And then I made it almost disappear with my magical aperture.

Anyway, what about you? Do you shoot wide open? Do you care? What are your thoughts on that?

Personally I've come to believe that absolute measurable sharpness isn't that important. What's more important (for me) is relative sharpness in a picture. So, is my subject sharper than the background? Yes? Good. No? Not so good. Could the whole picture be sharper at f/8? Oh, definitely. But then I'd lose my relative sharpness, because my subject and the background would both be in focus.


  1. I love shooting my f/1.4 lens wide open as well. I really like when shapes in the background go out to focus to the point of being just a color. I think I like the same aesthetic in my Lensbaby. The problem I struggle with is that I prefer shooting closer to subjects, and sometimes the wide open will make more of the subject soft then I would like or focus in the wrong spot, which can easily ruin the image. But, I still do that :).

  2. Yes, I think wide open is great! And I think it is socially and photographically acceptable to have less and less sharp images these days. I almost always leave my aperture at f/2.8, and now I'm trying to teach myself to make the decision to change. Sometimes I do want things in the background to be out of focus, but readable as a person, or boat, or whatever.

    I kind of want the sailboat to be more 'readable' in this photo, but I also really love how the fishing line drifts out of focus into nothing.


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