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During this outing to Whitehouse Perennials, I was using my tripod so I was able to vary my depth of field. The advantage of shooting at f 22 is that the whole flower is in focus. But so is much of the busy background. In the f 5.6 image details are lost on the flower but the stamen are still in sharp focus and the background is nicely blurred. In the f 3.5 image a lot of the detail of the flower is lost and the focus is much softer. The background is also very nicely blurred.
Which depth of field you choose depends on what you like. Lots of detail or a softer focus. Is f 3.5 too soft? I often like a softer focus, especially with flowers as long as the stamen are in focus. Sometimes that can be tricky to achieve especially the more you open up your aperture. In this case, my preference is the f 5.6 image. I think there is enough detail in the flower and the stamen are sharp. The flower pops against the blurred background. I could square up this image but I like to have negative space in my compositions. What do you think? Click on the images to enlarge for better viewing.