Cameraderie Photo Challenge 16: f/8 and Be There - WINNER ANNOUNCED

Most of us know or have heard of the quote by Arthur Fellig - the famous and infamous crime reporter and photojournalist who was better known as 'Weegee' - who, when asked how he was able to come up with such amazing photographs, replied, simply: f/8 and be there.

As photographers, our brains know that stopping a lens down to an f/8 aperture will give us more depth of field - in simple terms, more parts of our photograph in focus. Generations of documentary and street photographers have turned Weegee's pithy one-liner into a modus operandi and a way-of-photographic-life: presetting your aperture at f/8 and picking a focus point which gives a maximum range of focus (done, classically, by checking the focus scales engraved on your old-school manual focus analog lens), a photographer out in the street didn't need to waste valuable micro-seconds refocusing because at f/8, so much was (theoretically, at least) in focus: simply raise the camera up to eye level, frame and shoot.

Of course the 'be there' part of Weegee's famous one-liner is, was, has been and will be crucial to street or documentary photography: being in the right place where something 'interesting' is happening has always been the mantra of street photographers. But Weegee also commented on the unique and at times emotional relationship between a photographer and his or her human subjects: "When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track."

The current challenge is a combination of the above: a 'street' or documentary photograph - taken at f/8 - with human subjects (almost always ones whom we do not know, personally) - with whom we feel a some emotional connection. Any and all interpretations of the above are welcome. One final element, to add some non-scientific-and-totally-subjective-'brownie points' to your entry in this challenge: if at all possible try to take or find or use a photograph that has been taken with the equivalent of a 35mm lens - the classic tool of generations of documentary and street photographers, which has a slightly wider field-of-view than a 'normal' 50mm lens - and also possesses more depth of field. (Due to crop factors, a 17mm micro four-thirds lens - or a 23mm APS-C lens - have FOV's equivalent to a traditional full-frame 35mm; and an mu-4/3 15mm, or an APS-C 21mm, are close enough for comfort.)

Weegee also said: "What I did, anyone can do." With that in mind, I look forwards to your entries and interpretations. Due to my own schedule and other obligations, this Challenge will run approximately 3 and a 1/2 weeks; it will end on April 10.

And the rules, as always, are:

1. Either take pictures that match the nominated theme or select some from your portfolio. You must be the photographer that created the images in order to enter it.

2. Only one entry per salon, please. If you want to withdraw an entry and replace it with another, that is OK, but you must make it clear in the post containing your replacement pictures that this is what you've done. You can add or change the title and add to the edit line to let everyone know.

3. The decision of the curator at the end of the challenge is final - don't give him/her a hard time about it: this is just a friendly photo-challenge, after all!

4. The winner will assume the responsibility of curator for the next Challenge, and as soon as possible post a message in a new thread in the SC Photo Challenges forum, with details of the new theme. Don't forget - that opening message must include a copy of these instructions, which also double as the rules.

5. The curator cannot enter his or her own salon.

Good luck!
Thank heavens I bought that A7 and 35mm lens. Of course, the shutter sounds like a clap of thunder. Now all I need to do is find some people wearing ear muffs
The 35mm lens is optional....some people have 'em, some people don't, some people swear by them, some people swear at them...but I couldn't resist adding it, as an optional element, to the mix.

Looking forwards to seeing what the A7 + 35mm combo does... :)
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Miguel, thanks for picking this theme. There's LOADS here that appeals to me. And while I generally don't bother to enter these because I'm a hack, this is a LOT of the stuff that I think makes great photos....and that FRANKLY most digital photographers don't think about anymore.

I have a few photos in mind, but I will try to find my photos from a certain era when I was thinking in this vein and can hopefully find a gem.....although at that point in time, I was more into subject isolation and didn't shoot at f8 very often. Maybe it will inspire me to shoot some new images.


Aug 29, 2018
Shenyang, China
Thanks for creating this interesting thread. I've heard the phrase "f8 and be there" but I didn't know the story behind it, now it seems totally reasonable :D

The hard/meaningful part, is like the OP said "...with whom we feel a some emotional connection". It's usually difficult enough for many to simply record an interesting moment, but to do it with emotional connection, is what I think really makes it meaningful, what make a photograph of something interesting happening a great piece of art. I probably have never been able to do that but I'll definitely keep that in mind in the future.
As an extreme (and, admittedly, funny) example of what I'm talking about (I'm the curator, so this is not an 'entry'), the following photograph was taken with an extremely wide-angle (semi-fisheye) lens, at f/8, during a Halloween parade. The subjects - a 'family' of 'Mummies' - were interesting - but the lucky moment I was hoping for came when they shared a group hug. True, you can't see their faces - but I've experienced some emotional and unforgettable hugs with friends and family - so the image resonated with me. And - at the time I took it - I had no idea where the focus actually was, so I set my camera at f/8 and hoped, with the depth-of-field of an extreme wide-angle, that it would work out.

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Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
TIL (Things I Learned): How to use Metadata Filter in Lightroom to find my f 8.0 or smaller photos.

Brenton Point in Newport is a great place to fly kites - lots of room and wind. I saw this shot out of the corner of my eye. No idea who they were, just another family enjoying the day. At the time, I wasn't confident f8 would give me the DoF I needed, so one stop down for insurance.

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Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
Taft Avenue, Manila. These are some of the local shopkeepers who run the little convenience stores and cafes along the street. I was concentrating on the two ladies in the foreground and it was only later that I noticed the one in the background. Shot with an X-E2 with the XF23 lens, so I'm close enough to 35mm, and 1/250 at f8.

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Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, Virginia
Taft Avenue, Manila. These are some of the local shopkeepers who run the little convenience stores and cafes along the street. I was concentrating on the two ladies in the foreground and it was only later that I noticed the one in the background. Shot with an X-E2 with the XF23 lens, so I'm close enough to 35mm, and 1/250 at f8.

View attachment 195654
Good thing you were using f8. :laugh:

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