Wednesday, March 15, 2017


No that title isn't some obscure bit of SQL code. Not doing that to you today. This is Fish Creek bridge 2, not once, not twice, but 3!, 3! THREE times for all of you. There's a reason why I did all three. Before I tell you why, do you have any preference? Don't be afraid to take a minute and embiggen each one.

It wasn't a rigorous comparison, but I wanted to shoot the same scene (the bridge with just a bit of vegetation on each side) with 3 different lenses at different focal lengths and see how it turned out. I suppose for a proper comparison I should have measured the distance to the bridge with each shot, and been more careful about the crop, and ensured that each of the three were treated identically through software processing. Maybe another time, when I get my hands on a laser range finder. Or when I get paid to do such detailed painstaking work.

So far I think this is the prettiest of the Fish Creek bridges, especially when it comes to background. I just love how the bridge emerges from the trees on either side, and that hillside of trees backdrop is beautiful, especially with snow on the trees. The arch and colour of the bridge are a nice contrast, but not jarring.

But why? Ok ok. The first was shot quite close with a 50 mm lens, the second quite a bit further away (but I'm not sure if it's twice as far) with the 100 mm lens, and the third a long way off with the 200 mm lens. A really long way, on the order of half a K away. All the shots were on a tripod with the same aperture (f22 for you photographers), and shutter speed tweaked for slight variations in the light.

I suppose if I'd been on the ball I'd have a shot of each with the lens wide open to see what the shallow depth of field does to the shot, but the intent today was to get everything into focus. From these shots, and especially the last one, it looks like the bridge is right beside the bank with the trees, but it's not. It's probably a half K away from the bridge as well, so the trees are nearly a full K from the camera.

My preference, you ask? Well, I've just spent a few minutes looking at each shot blown up to full size on a 27 in monitor, and they all look lovely. Each is slightly different, but I think I prefer the middle one. That lens is just a hair sharper than the other ones, and I think the quality shows. The triangular peak of trees above the bridge adds an element of interest and a bit of layering.

Tell me which one you like best.


  1. I'm curious as to why you chose f/22? All of the photo forums I frequent say that once you get to f/16 and above you are introducing diffraction into the photo which will produce a slight blur. They also say that f/8 is the sweet spot (sharpest) on most lenses. Have you heard of this?

    1. Thanks for the comment! This is all a learning experience. f22 because I wanted maximum depth of field so the entire screen would be in focus, and that was as high as it would go and still give me a reasonably fast exposure at ISO 100. At some point soonish I want to set up on the tripod, start on a scene at f2.8 at whatever exposure, then gradually close off the lens and increase exposure just to see the differences in the photos. I know that various lenses have sweet spots, but had not heard that f8 was a general rule. Much of my landscape shooting is done around f5 to f7 or so, depending on light.

  2. Hi again Keith, I'm not sure you're gaining anything as far as depth of field goes at f/22. If you do a Google search on "Hyperfocal Distance" I think it might be of interest to you.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Steve, but talk about going down the rabbit hole! I sort of get the concept, but I think it's going to take awhile before that becomes part of my regular toolkit. I'll take a look at diffraction while I'm at it.

    2. Perhaps something like this would help visualise. :)

  3. I like the first picture because the sky and the creek balance each other out.


Looking forward to reading your comment!