25 Dreamy Images Shot Wide Open


Behind glass 1

Lately I’ve found myself shooting ‘wide open’ a lot (with a wide open Aperture). It all started with my purchase of a Leica M9P which I bundled with a couple of f1.4 lenses. Like many Leica shooters I tend to gravitate to shooting at wide open apertures which are both challenging to shoot at (as the depth of field is so shallow than being just a little off can ruin a shot) and which can result in some really dreamy shots.

Interestingly since getting the Leica I’m finding myself shooting with my Canon 5D wide open a lot more too.

Following are a series of shots all shot wide open – most are shot at f1.4 with a few shot at f1.8 and f0.95. Enjoy!

Project 365 Day 104: On The Frets [explored!]



[Autunno] in Passeggiata, again




I spy Mr Licks


Front Page

Look up on others (DSC2773)


Steven & Cyndi | The Long And Winding Road

@Taipei City


Elizabeth Tornabene EXPLORED

A Portrait in Darkness

There and back again


Ashley + Ryan | Veiled Beauty

Tocando el violín


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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • artie

    Great photo’s, got me excited! Put on my nikkor 50mmf1.2 ais for a thin slice of DOF. This lens is still sold new, but is a manual focus lens. At f1.2 this lens is amazing by f2 it’s perfection edge to edge. There’s plenty of photo’s on the internet using this lens at f1.2, take a look if your a Nikonian. I feel it gets into Leica territory for sharpness.

  • Great set of images. I love shooting wide and am lucky enough to have f2.8’s in the bag 🙂

  • Marty Varon

    Your images are stunning. Your review of the M9P is so down-to-earth. I appreciate both your photographic and verbal styles. Thanks, Marty

  • Bokeh in photography provokes a nostalgic feeling, at least that’s what it makes me feel.

    It’s an amazing collection, you have a very good taste.

  • Michael Minick

    Which lens do you use that is f0.95 ( and how much does is cost:)

  • Suhail

    Beautiful shots… I tried one also…

  • JackieN

    I love playing with shallow depth of field!



    One I shot on vacations…just playing around with my girls.

  • pmt


  • Fall leaves.

  • Tiara Marie Hanna

    Wow these shots are beautiful, this is something I will have try.

  • Luiz Forster

    The Poor Birds of Paris

  • Judy Miller

    my favourite style of shooting…

  • Barry E Warren

    Some stunning shots.

  • Nice work.

  • rio

    how to edit photos like the one above?

  • me

    poor excuse for a post and to grab some random images off Flickr. At least post your own Darren!

  • Stephen Hood

    Does the Yashica work?

Some Older Comments

  • Michael Minick January 9, 2013 02:22 am

    Which lens do you use that is f0.95 ( and how much does is cost:)

  • Ivan Cabrera January 6, 2013 01:32 am

    Bokeh in photography provokes a nostalgic feeling, at least that's what it makes me feel.

    It's an amazing collection, you have a very good taste.

  • Marty Varon May 13, 2012 06:53 am

    Your images are stunning. Your review of the M9P is so down-to-earth. I appreciate both your photographic and verbal styles. Thanks, Marty

  • PaulB April 27, 2012 12:25 am

    Great set of images. I love shooting wide and am lucky enough to have f2.8's in the bag :)

  • artie April 17, 2012 12:31 pm

    Great photo's, got me excited! Put on my nikkor 50mmf1.2 ais for a thin slice of DOF. This lens is still sold new, but is a manual focus lens. At f1.2 this lens is amazing by f2 it's perfection edge to edge. There's plenty of photo's on the internet using this lens at f1.2, take a look if your a Nikonian. I feel it gets into Leica territory for sharpness.

  • Scott Sutton April 17, 2012 01:59 am


  • Islam April 16, 2012 02:26 am

    Very beautiful shots. Wish if I have a better camera
    Here what I took yesterday using that I have
    Hope you like it


  • Christophe Delas April 15, 2012 04:37 am

    Great shots


  • Kieran April 14, 2012 12:54 pm

    I'm quite fond of messing with wide open settings myself and you are right it is often challenging but when you get the DOF just right you can get some great images.

    here's some of my wide open shots:




  • sandrine April 14, 2012 08:38 am

    The very first photo has such depth in it, it's really intriguing.

  • Dan April 14, 2012 12:02 am

    Uh...you shot these?! Incredible! Love em!

  • Lauren Kim Photography April 13, 2012 10:09 pm

    Love the shallow depth of field shooting wide open gives you

  • Amani April 13, 2012 09:03 pm


  • Jean-Pierre April 13, 2012 08:32 pm

    A recent shot of my wife wide open, the other of a flower/tree scene. Thanks for looking!



  • marius2die4 April 13, 2012 03:49 pm


  • Elizabeth April 13, 2012 03:10 pm

    I love trying these wonderful shots. I am slowly improving but I am still having fun. Here are mine.


  • Erik Hanna April 13, 2012 12:57 pm

    I love shooting wide open. Maybe the difficulty/possibility of blowing the shot if you're slightly off is part of the fun.

  • raghavendra April 13, 2012 12:51 pm

    dreamy shots are too good.


  • imamtho April 13, 2012 12:07 pm

    very nice wide open images...
    here is my shot playing wide open

  • Avarine April 13, 2012 10:17 am


  • Steve April 13, 2012 07:50 am

    I shoot like this fairly often although in my case wide open is more like 4-5.6 on my big zoom lens plus distance to enhance dof.

    I have one very much like the guitar ones: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43017182@N06/6229459076/in/photostream

    and my latest: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43017182@N06/6917204132/in/photostream

  • Linda Fury April 13, 2012 07:27 am

    I love shooting with a wide angle lens. I am finding it more & more on my camera.

  • Becky April 13, 2012 04:18 am

    Whew! Breathtaking, Gorgeous, WOW! :0)

  • Greg McMullin April 13, 2012 03:42 am

    @Jerry: I am the photographer of the guitar image. I can confirm that it was shot wide open at f/1.4. DOF is a funny thing sometimes.

  • wedding photographer toronto April 13, 2012 02:29 am

    wonderful shots! the blue image with hands in foreground is stunning!

  • Jennifer Lycke April 13, 2012 02:17 am

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images. Inspires me to go out and shoot 'wide open' this weekend!

  • daCs April 13, 2012 02:00 am

    Wow great shot indeed! I still do wide shots now but not so often. Here's some of my takes before:



  • Henry Michel April 13, 2012 01:57 am

    I love shooting wide open with my 35mm 1.8 Nikkor. I do find that I have to watch light sources as I end up with hot spots on cheeks and forheads unless I drop down to 2.8.

  • Matt Crockett April 13, 2012 01:46 am

    Beautiful images. I have a 50 mm 1.8, but most of the time I'm shooting with a min. of 2.8 in my other lenses. I'm looking forward to the challenge of limiting my focal depth even more. I especially admire the lips photo with the backlighting.

  • Gary Weightman April 13, 2012 01:35 am

    A new lens gave me the chance to experiment shooting wide open at a local model boat competition




  • Jerry April 13, 2012 01:32 am

    Great pictures!
    However I found myself doubting whether they are all really shot at 1.4- 1.8
    My personal experience with 50mm is that shooting at less than 2.0 would give you significantly smaller depth of field as presented on the pictures
    In particular the cat and those fingers on guitar are the ones for which I find it hard to believe in f1.4

  • Geoff Naylor April 13, 2012 12:57 am

    Great images. Personally the cat is my favourite... wonderful composition.

  • Manyala April 12, 2012 03:00 pm

    I love the shots though I read on a convo twitter that there's some photoshop. However, the beauty in them cant be taken away. Good stuff.

  • Alice April 12, 2012 12:41 pm

    Stunning images!

  • Nina April 12, 2012 11:29 am

    Stunning! I too love wide open shots and there are so many I here that I love! Great motivation, thanks for sharing!

  • Mei Teng April 12, 2012 10:23 am

    Love all the images. Beautiful.

  • Sue April 12, 2012 10:14 am

    I shoot wide open all the time...the only way to shoot :)
    This is one of my latest...weeds in the garden

  • Cassio April 12, 2012 09:57 am

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • ccting April 12, 2012 09:45 am

    These photos are the photos that I wish to duplicate.. ;D__ what's why I wish to buy 85mm f/1.4 rather than 70-200 f/2.8..

  • ccting April 12, 2012 09:40 am

    Wow.. this article really helps... Great article~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jai Catalano April 12, 2012 09:37 am

    I would say there are 22 dreamy images. 1 nightmare. 1 Canon lens cap and I dude lost in Asia.

  • jamie lee April 12, 2012 09:13 am

    I just wanted to say that these images are absolutely stellar! So stunning! I wish I could shoot like that!!

  • Scottc April 12, 2012 08:47 am

    Wow, incredible photos. This is something I need to try more often, I tend to shoot in aperture mode a lot and at the highest DoF I can get with the available light.

    This is f/2.8, and probably one of the (few) best shallow shots I have.


  • Steven April 12, 2012 04:49 am

    Leica M9P is incredible camera and I have just tested it for some few minutes and price is very much holding me back from buying one. But this camera has some special aura around it.
    These shots are incredible! Very nice collection

  • Filip April 12, 2012 04:14 am

    To me wide open is just fantastic! You have to love it.

    Here are some of my wide open shots:


  • Jarrod April 12, 2012 03:38 am

    There is some amazing composition in these shots. And such a wide array of subjects that fit perfect for this style. I believe it is easy to get trapped in a style and fail to venture out and explore techniques. I will need to try to take a greater effort in capturing these types of images.

  • Ronnie Salazar April 12, 2012 02:59 am

    These are all great photos. Really inspiring. Come check out my site guys and let me know what you all think

    Fusion Photography

  • Jeff April 12, 2012 02:40 am

    I too like shooting wide open. Definitely a challenge, especially in less than ideal light when trying to find the right focus point:


  • Alexx April 12, 2012 02:39 am

    I like the train track and the bar.


  • Greg nelson April 12, 2012 02:34 am

    I love the images here. I just got a new car and I shot the car's nameplate wide open.


  • Mridula April 12, 2012 01:47 am

    Lovely images as usual. A bit of dreaminess here?


  • Greg McMullin April 12, 2012 01:45 am

    Woah! I just did a double take on my google reader as one of my own images scrolled into view! Thanks for including me alongside such awesome shots.

  • steve slater April 12, 2012 01:33 am

    Dreamy butterfly:


  • Jeff E Jensen April 12, 2012 01:30 am

    Nice images! I love the dreamlike effect that shooting wide open causes. Of course, like most techniques, it's not always the best way to go, but can create some amazing images.

    Here's some recent images from a model railroad show. the lighting conditions forced me to shoot wide open, but I really like the results:


  • jim April 12, 2012 01:27 am

    I don't shoot wide open to much anymore. It is something I need to get back into. I just got my Nikkor 24-70 2.8 in today so I guess I can start with that.

    Here's a shot from a bit ago.

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