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A collection of photographs and stories by Invercargill photographer Rick Harvey

F8 And Be There

F8 And Be There…or how to disguise a series of bad photographs

I don’t know how many different settings my Nikon D5100 has. I just know there are a lot.

Normally I would remember to check that the settings are correct before I start to take photographs but on one recent outing I didn’t.

Actually I did check. I set the camera mode to Aperture Priority, and the electronic aperture on the camera itself to f8 as I was going to have a crack at street photography. You know the old saying f8 and be there!

Unfortunately I had overlooked the settings the lens itself. I  had previously switched the lens from Auto Focus to Manual, then started to happily click away thinking the AF was on and it would do everything for me.

Now – I hear you ask – “How come I didn’t notice the bad focus in the viewfinder“. Well I wear glasses and am blind in my right eye, so I use my left eye to see through the viewfinder. I am sure that many of you will understand it can be quite difficult to look through a DSLR viewfinder with your left eye, wearing glasses and see everything clearly. That’s my excuse anyway – and I am sticking to it.

So what did I do when I returned from that street photography shoot with the lens not focussed correctly for any of the shots?

  1. I hoped that the fact that the depth of field associated with the F8 (and be there!) setting would help, and;
  2. I turned to the Nik Collection to tweak the photos to make it look like I intended all along to have a batch of soft focus photographs with a somewhat dreamy effect.

Incidentally, you may recall from a previous post that I gave the Nik Collection a test run in conjunction with DxO Photolab 3 – well, that is the combination I used here. I did eventually purchase both packages when the trial activations expired.

As an aside I did say in that DxO test run post that the Nik Collection now handles RAW files. Sorry – not true! I have subsequently found this to not be the case. Nik handles TIFF and JPEG files only. The good news however is that if you still have an old version of the Google Nik Collection it will work happily with DxO Photolab 3.


Stallholders in Riverside Market, Christchurch
Stallholders in Riverside Market, Christchurch (DxO Photolab 3 / Nik Silver Efex Pro 2).


Stairs to courtroom 2, Christchurch
Stairs to Courtroom 2, Christchurch District Court (Nik Silver Efex Pro 2).


Quail eggs for sale at a stall in Riverside Market
Quail eggs for sale at a stall in Riverside Market (Nik Silver Efex Pro 2)
An alley at Riverside Market
An alley at Riverside Market (Nik Analog Efex Pro 2).


A man checks his phone at Riverside Market
A man checks his phone at Riverside Market (Nik Analog Efex Pro 2).

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