Lowepro Storytellers Mission: f/2.8

Every month we challenge our Lowepro Storytellers with a mission. We are looking to see the different types of images our Storytellers come up with when given a word or phrase. Because our group is spread all over the World, each with their very own style, we are extremely excited to see what they have come up with.

The second Mission is f/2.8. Shooting with a shallow depth of field is fun & a unqiue way to tell a story. We are beyond excited to share these images with everyone and are already looking forward to next month’s Mission.

f/2.8: Erika Skogg

“f/2.8 looks like a tiny sliver of the bigger picture. As a photographer and storyteller, I want to bring attention to the small, engaging details of an instant. In this photograph from the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, I kept the camel caravan in view as an important part of the story, but I wanted to simplify the image and allow the viewer to enjoy the subtle moment of life in the desert.”

f/2.8: Nick LaVecchia

“Shooting with a shallow depth of field, like 2.8 or greater, can really change the feeling of an image you are creating. I find myself shooting between f/1.4 and f/2.8 quite often when it comes to environmental portraits and lifestyle.

In this case in particular, I really wanted to isolate the surfer (Warren Smith) from the extreme elements we were up against on this beach in Iceland. 75 knot winds + f/2.8 helped to create this blur of sand hovering a few feet off the ground.”

f/2.8: Kyriakos Kaziras

“For years between September and October, I would stay for 45 days in an Inuit village in northern Alaska. I was with my guide in a boat on the Beaufort Sea when I saw this polar bear swimming towards us; he was a curious young bear. As usual my Inuit guide managed the distance between the boat and the bear. I started to photograph with 600mm and 300mm as he approached us. I then switched to my 24-70mm and 24mm wide angle. Behind the viewfinder, the distances are distorted. When he touched his nose with the objective lens, the boat began to recede. I turn my head to look at my guide, and there he told me that the engine stalled. He was able to restart it when the bear tried to climb on the boat…”

f/2.8: Bruno Calendini

“A group of Salvadoran bikers parade under police eyes; in the streets of Los Angeles.”

f/2.8: Samuel Taipale

“There are times when you step outside during the night and your eyes are witnessing the nature throwing a spectacular show and of course you want to be able to capture that somehow. After getting my hands on the Canon 14mm f/2.8 I knew that I had found a lens that can capture those glorious moments.

I think f/2.8 is also a number that you can tell stories with. It’s the number that draws the eye to the main character of your story and brings out something that makes your heart miss a beat.”

f/2.8: Alastair Lee

“For me 2.8 means fast shooting of wildlife or action on a long lens or an intimate portrait on a fixed 50mm lens. This is a shot I took on a very recent expedition to Alaska of British mountaineer Jon Bracey; I like to focus on the eyes and let everything else soften with the shallow depth of field.

We’d just been filming a piece to camera with Jon about how determined they were to climb the mountain we were there to film. As we were filming the light started to look really surreal, the evening glow bouncing off the glacier, once the piece was wrapped up I grabbed the stills camera and got this portrait of Jon, I think it really captures his spirit and affinity with hard alpinism in the mountains.”

f/2.8: Ben Sasso

f/2.8: Hugo Pedel

“For me F/2.8 evokes inevitably someremarkable underground adventures. When you are so deep, and when you continue to dive into the caves, you know that a large aperture will be essential to capture unique atmospheres.”

f/2.8: Florian Wagner

“I worked with an open aperture to get depth in the motif. The mountain climber (2nd person from the left) is Stefan Siegrist who is an extreme mountain climber. We were on the move on the peaks of Lobhörnern, in the background you can see Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.”

f/2.8: Daniel & Quin Cheung

“This image was taken in front of the iconic Jaume Plensa sculpture in our hometown of Calgary, Alberta.  To focus the viewer’s attention I chose to both use an off-camera softbox to light the couple, as well as shoot it with a tilt-shift lens set at f/2.8. The shallow depth of field and light add drama and focus to an otherwise simple portrait.”

More details and images from this shoot can be seen here.

f/2.8: Michael Teague

“I shot the movie reels in the hollywood redline station around 1 in the morning. I decided to buy a ticket and ride the rails to each station trying to find something interesting in each one. I stepped out of the train took the escalator to the next level and found an interesting composition, upon looking up. The ceiling has these generic movie reels that caught the light at an interesting angle. This shot was taken with a Nikon D810, nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 – ISO 3200.”

f/2.8: Glenn Fajota

“To get the shot, you might get shot.”

f/2.8: Elisabeth Brentano

“When I think of f/2.8, the first thing that comes to mind is wildlife portraiture. Whether it’s a piece of grass sticking out of a bighorn sheep’s mouth or the reflection of the landscape in a bird’s eye, it’s all about a few sharp details.”

f/2.8: Jöerg Ehrlich

“Ecuador, Galapagos, wildlife watching on the island of Seymour Norte. Portrait of a patiently waiting lizard: This land iguana focused on not to missing dinner, the falling cactus flower.”

f/2.8: Elisa & Max Coquard

“Spring is by far our favourite season to stroll in Paris gardens and streets; the Prunus trees are blooming and it smells delicious.  We love their pastel pink colour and the delicate scent of their flowers. Photographing them is not easy; how to faithfully transpose the perfection of that tree?”

f/2.8: Emily Polar

f/2.8: Matthias Fend

f/2.8: Viktoria Haack

“I love using 2.8 for my portrait shots; it isolates my subjects and creates beautiful soft backgrounds.”

f/2.8: Kylie Turley

“Camping at Mt Pinos, California. I almost exclusively shoot with a wide aperture, and especially when taking night shots while camping. I spend a lot of nights outdoors sleeping under the stars, and it’s always a mystery to see what will expose in the shots with long exposures.”

f/2.8: Andreas Kieling

f/2.8: Gilles Reboisson

“In a concert, artists are important but it’s also necessary to shoot the crowd to show the crazy ambience. This picture will be remembered because of a very clear area on the hands in the air and a backlight from the stage. It was taken during a well-known electro festival in France “Les Nuits Sonores” for Red Bull Music Academy.”

f/2.8: Jerm Cohen

“Shooting at a wide aperture can be a clever yet easy way to make your subject stand out in a photograph. Whether it’s a portrait or still life, using this technique will force the viewer to see where your focus is; literally and figuratively.”

f/2.8: Lukasz Warzecha

“Technically speaking f/2.8 is about two things… Background separation and low light performance. Trees in a beautiful Autumn colours have created an amazing background for this fashion head shot.”

f/2.8: Travis Burke

“Shooting with an aperture of f/2.8 not only gives me a shallow depth of field but also lets in an incredible amount of light. With night photography the more light I can let hit the sensor during my exposure the brighter and more defined the stars and Milky Way Galaxy will be. Here along the back roads of Vermont I used a 2.8 aperture along with a 30 second exposure and some light painting to light the entire scene.”

f/2.8: Ryan Struck

“Nick Palandrani at the Santa Cruz Board Builders Guild. I snagged this portrait while on assignment for SLIDE Magazine. Nick is an incredible surfboard maker who was kind enough to show me the process and invited me to meet all of the craftsmen involved. I love photographing people doing what they are so passionate about.”

f/2.8: Miles Witt Boyer

“Shooting mostly weddings I live my life between f/1.4-2.8. This challenge was fun for me simply because I wanted to find a moment that perfectly sums up what it’s like to live this lifestyle and the little moments of motion and emotion that I see.

This was a quintessential southern wedding just last weekend where the summer breeze was the only break from the humidity. After a few short minutes with the bridesmaids I grabbed this capture on the way to hide the bride so that she could sneak up on the groom as he read a letter from her. There’s so much about this job that’s dangerously cheesy if you don’t focus on what’s real in a moment. I’m not interested in telling the whole story, and I’m not interested in telling a generic story. On a wedding day like this I’m focused on telling their story which is often best caught in the smallest of moments with the tiniest of details.

f/2.8 for me is a lifestyle. I have to choose exactly what I want to highlight in a moment and let the rest of the world fade to bokeh as quickly as possible.”

f/2.8: Josh Hydeman

Shot with Canon 5D mk.II with 16-35mm f/2.8 II

f/2.8: Frank Lopez

“f/2.8 to me means being able to see stars and Milky Way in whole new way. A way that is unable to be seen to my naked eye.  This photo is my interpretation of f/2.8 being able to see the fog rolling down the valley and the milky way rising behind Valley View in Yosemite National Park.”

f/2.8: Nick Carnera

f/2.8: Hunter McRae

“When using my 70-200mm lens I keep my settings at f/2.8 almost exclusively.  It’s a beautiful tool that keeps my subject in focus while blurring the background. This image is a rare case where I felt that the emotion is conveyed even though the true subject is out of focus in the background. The f/2.8 effect here helps add a bit of mystery, interest and romance to the story I’m trying to tell.”

f/2.8: Jeff Bartlett

“Within adventure photography, I can think of three distinct situations where I use f/2.8: portraiture to blur the background, action sports to insure a fast shutter speed, and night sky photography. The latter is my absolute favorite subject and,since I live in a Dark Sky Preserve, I have plenty of opportunities to hone the craft.

I’ll let you in on a secret – if it’s a clear night, night sky photography is the only genre I know where the light doesn’t change for hours! What other time of day is it possible to make such a statement?”

f/2.8: Daniel Taipale

“I really like shooting with a wide aperture of f/2.8 and reducing the depth of field allowing to give more focus on the subject I’m shooting. It is also a great way to play with the mood of the image. You can give more room for viewer’s own imagination. f/2.8 is a good aperture for all around snapshots and portraits. You can be fairly confident that your subjects are fully in focus when shooting with f/2.8.”

f/2.8: Hunter Fiuzat

“When I think of f/2.8, I think of smooth, close-up,macro photography. As an oceanic photographer, its hard to get a macro perspective with marine organisms, especially when they don’t want to sit still, much less allowyou to get right in front of their face with a giant camera housing.

However, waves can be photographed as morethan a just a massive curl of water, and they don’t care how close you get to them. Atthe end of my tidal sessions, shooting a swell, I like to stand in shallower waters andtry to make unique angles and close-up approaches to small waves; that people wouldn’t normally see.

An example would be the image I provide for this assignment. After a long 2 hours shooting massive waves in deeper waters, I saw a clean, glassy curl about 1 foot high and decided to take a stab at shooting macro. This gave rise to a whole new section of my work inocean photography. I now see smaller waves at the shoreline as textures, and faded lines of color in the background. I like to think that when I display shots from f/2.8 macro, people are seeing the tides at the beach in a different way, and not just as water moving around.”

f/2.8: Sarah Dawson

f/2.8: Alessandra Meniconzi

“In many shooting situations f/2.8 really benefits the final image. I don’t use this aperture often but sometimes it provide me a greater artistic flexibility, in terms of both exposure options and depth of field. In this flowers image, f/2.8, helps to isolate the subject from the background and the shallow depth of field let the image become very fuzzy.”

Amanda Pollard

About Amanda Pollard

Amanda Pollard is the WW Communications Manager for Lowepro. She's a drone enthusiast, who not only loves aerial photography but FPV as well. You can usually find her lurking around Lowepro's social media, writing blogs, and trying to find ways to give bags away. You can reach Amanda at apollard@daymen.com

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