Just last week I stumbled on a thread, on a photography forum, where the poster was asking which aperture he needed to use to shoot “landscapes.” It’s also a question that gets asked frequently during workshops. The answer, of course, is “whatever is appropriate for the scene and your artistic vision.” Usually drawing a blank stare, the answer really is as simple as it sounds.
Had I listened to the forum membership pontificating about f/16 or the importance of keeping the entire scene sharp, this would have been a boring image. The scene compression, from my 400mm focal length, and the very selective depth of field weren’t mistakes. Those choices were as deliberate as where I positioned myself to control the spacing between the poppies. Knowing what happens when you choose each possible camera setting is an important part of learning to express your vision. Using the knowledge to your advantage is how you create artistic images.