Road Train !!!!!!!!!!

by Russell McMahon

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can I take a picture of a wide area such as a big house at 10m, in low light, using a large aperture of say f/2.8, at a focal length of 50mm?

I will have no subject between my camera and the house.

share|improve this question
5  
You can't shoot a big house at a distance of 10 meters with a 50mm lens full stop. You'll need at least 35mm or wider for full frame, 22mm if your camera is APS-C. You can, however, use whatever aperture you please :) –  Matt Grum Jul 11 '13 at 8:52
    
The key to low light landscape photography is one word: Tripod –  Michael Clark Jul 11 '13 at 12:09
    
The title says landscape, but in the text you say house from 10 meters. These are very different. Which is it? –  Olin Lathrop Jul 11 '13 at 12:37
    
@OlinLathrop - I don't doubt that someone could consider an image including a house as landscape photography. It is a pretty loose term especially with today's interpretation. But I do agree with your sentiment that it is confusing in this context. –  dpollitt Jul 11 '13 at 13:19

3 Answers 3

Landscape photography is usually done with a short focal length and small aperture - but that doesn't mean you have to - you can use a large aperture, a long focal length or any tool/technique you want to use - having your own style that is different than the standard is a good thing.

The reason landscape photography is done with a small aperture is that usually you want everything in focus and a large aperture will give you a smaller depth of field - but if you want the house to be in focus and whatever is closer/farther away to be blurred that's fine, however, if you want everything in focus it's not going to work.

And finally, you mention low light, if you think you need a large aperture because it's low light than there's a better solution, just use a tripod (or put the camera on any flat-ish surface) and use a cable release or a 2-second timer - and you can use whatever aperture you want for artistic effect and compensate with the shutter speed.

share|improve this answer

If you want to shoot landscape at f/2.8, you want to use a shorter focal length (let's say, between 12mm and 24mm —or between 8mm and 18mm if you use APS-C sensors) : the depth of field will be less impacted by the large aperture if the focal length is short.

e.g.: a 8mm fisheye at f/3.5, with the focus set to hyperfocal, will provide you an "infinite" depth of field.

But to answer your question : if the framing is ok to you, yes, you can use your 50mm at f/2.8 in low light. Expect some bokeh if the distance between the house and the background is important.

share|improve this answer
    
you're assuming anyone shooting landscapes wants maximum DOF. That's not necessarily the case. –  jwenting Jul 11 '13 at 11:32
    
You're mistaking : refer to my last sentence. It's usually the case but no sectarism in my answer. I felt some anxiety in the question, as to me, "Can I use large aperture while shooting landscape" means "won't I lack DOF if I do so ?" Truth is he will with a 50mm, which is not a downside. –  Jon Jul 11 '13 at 11:52
    
There is no automatic "lack of DOF" when shooting wide open, is my point. It's all about your intent. If you want to get rid of a far field that's cluttered, shoot wide open and focus on the fore, if you want to get rid of a distraction in the fore, focus far and shoot wide open. And there's scenes where you don't need much DOF because there's just not much depth to them, think shooting a ridge line against open sky. –  jwenting Jul 12 '13 at 5:25

Yes you can on specific subject you want to portray. But I prefer like many others setting my aperture to at most f/11 when using landscape, because it gives me wider depth of field which is ideal for landscape. Suppose you're shooting on a high light, you'll have no problem shooting on small apertures, a smaller aperture can give you large depth of field. Here are some tips for improving your landscape photography.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.