Here’s a question for you. What mode should you put your camera in if you’re taking photos of groups of people? The goal is to keep everyone in focus because, well, that’s the whole point of taking the photo in the first place; to capture the people. We so often prioritize the bokeh in our photographs with all the pretty blur that comes with it, but what about when we want to keep everything in the image sharp? Well, the answer is easy. If a low f/stop gives us the blur, a higher f/stop gives us clarity, especially when what we’re shooting is far away.
The next question becomes; what’s a good aperture setting to use for everyday sharp photography? If you asked a whole bunch of photographers that question, I think you’d here that f/8 is the one to use under most circumstances. The f/8 aperture size is right in the middle of soft blurry backgrounds and tack sharp everything. The best part about f/8 is that it will allow enough light in to avoid an extremely slow shutter speed but not so much light that you lose important elements of your photo to blur.
Go ahead and try it. Take your camera out to a place where there are lots of people; a city street, the inside of a mall, a festival, and then take some photos of the crowds. Make sure you’re far enough away from them so that you’re able to take advantage of hyperfocus and then begin snapping away. I think you’ll find that the f/8 aperture size combined with an ISO value that’s allowed to rise up will give you very high quality photos of those crowds. Of course, you’ll need to be in aperture priory mode to do this. If you find that your shutter speed is too slow and the movement in the images is blurred, you can either manually increase your ISO setting to force the shutter speed to increase or you can go straight to full manual mode and increase your shutter speed from there. Think about using anything over 1/100 of a second or higher. Let me know what happens.