I absolutely love the beautiful and artsy quality of shallow depth of field (DOF) that results from shooting wide open. This is especially true of lenses that can open up to f/2.8 or wider . Don’t know what DOF means? Click here
Here are two shots of Lacepod at different apertures.
Canon 100mm Macro at f/13
Canon 100mm Macro at f/2.8
FYI to compact camera users: Although most compact cameras have wider apertures available (like f2.8), it will not give the same results as an SLR. This is because the lenses of compact cameras have very short focal lengths which means their aperture openings are significantly smaller than on an SLR. Small aperture openings result in sharper images so images are going to have much more depth of field (more in focus) than the SLR equivalent.