Lesson 3 Long Exp. and DOF

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  • #24178
    John Boccanfuso
    Participant

    Here is my first photo for a long exposure showing movement I made a photo of a ceiling fan’s blades spinning.
    The second for a short depth of field, I chose to photograph a berry on an ice covered tree branch. I wanted to focus on just one berry and blur everything else. Some of the other berries are visible, but not in focus while the one berry covered in ice is in focus.

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    #24210
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    Hi John,

    First the EXIF data for these photographs:

    berries-short-DOF.jpg
    http://photographyicon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/berries-short-DOF.jpg
    Date Time Original: 2014:02:05 13:45:07
    Exposure Time: 1/125
    F Number: f / 4
    Exposure Program: Manual
    ISO Speed Ratings: 100
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 40mm
    White Balance: Manual white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS 6D
    LensInfo: 17/1 40/1 0/0 0/0
    LensModel: EF17-40mm f/4L USM
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM
    Exif Version:
    Color Space: 1
    Date Time Digitized: 2014:02:05 13:45:07
    Subsec Time Original: 42
    Subsec Time Digitized: 42
    Shutter Speed Value: 6.97
    Aperture Value: 4
    Max Aperture Value: 4
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 1520
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 1520
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 3
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Exposure Mode: 1
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Saturation: Normal
    ExifIFDPointer: 206
    X Resolution: 240
    Y Resolution: 240
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2014:02:06 05:16:30
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.3 (Windows)
    DateCreated: 2014-02-05T13:45:07.42

    Fan-Motion.jpg
    http://photographyicon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Fan-Motion.jpg
    Date Time Original: 2014:02:10 17:27:06
    Exposure Time: 1/12
    F Number: f / 4
    Exposure Program: Manual
    ISO Speed Ratings: 640
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length: 36mm
    White Balance: Auto white balance
    Make: Canon
    Model: Canon EOS 6D
    LensInfo: 17/1 40/1 0/0 0/0
    LensModel: EF17-40mm f/4L USM
    LensSerialNumber: 0000000000
    Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM
    Exif Version:
    Color Space: 1
    Date Time Digitized: 2014:02:10 17:27:06
    Subsec Time Original: 00
    Subsec Time Digitized: 00
    Shutter Speed Value: 3.70
    Aperture Value: 4
    Max Aperture Value: 4
    Focal Plane X Resolution: 2540.39
    Focal Plane Y Resolution: 2543.93
    Focal Plane Resolution Unit: 2
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Exposure Mode: 1
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Saturation: Normal
    Sharpness: Normal
    ExifIFDPointer: 206
    X Resolution: 240
    Y Resolution: 240
    Resolution Unit: 2
    Date Time: 2014:02:10 21:47:28
    Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.3 (Windows)
    DateCreated: 2014-02-10T17:27:06.00

    Now with your shallow depth of field image you’ll immediately notice a few things. The first is that yes this photograph has shallow depth of field but the area of interest is not really in focus. In general the use of shallow depth of field is great for focusing the viewer’s eye on something in particular. One of the keys to this is to just ensure the most interesting thing in your image is in focus and that the depth of field is appropriate for the subject.

    I this case the depth of field is very shallow so that’s good but the area that’s in focus is just in the wrong place.

    Take a look at these:

    Berry Cold

    photo by PerryMcKenna

    Frozen Berries

    photo by nanagyei

    Notice how the most interesting areas of these photos are in focus and that your eye is drawn to that area?

    Over time with practice you’ll learn to control your depth of field or accomplish this. The simplified way of thinking about it is that just keep the best parts in focus. Blur out the rest, just like your eyes do automatically. It jus takes practice.

    In your motion image you’ve certainly managed to capture some motion in this abstract photo. It’s quite lovely actually. My only note on this photograph would be that when shooting something abstract like this you often want to include something for scale or perspective. Otherwise it’s hard to know what it even is. Of course it’s not essential but it could be helpful.

    Also with an image that is symmetrical like this it’s best to compose in such a way that things line up nicely.

    A final note is that I like the color on this the motion image. It’s quite lovely.

    Nice work here.

    See you on the next assignment.

    #24212
    John Boccanfuso
    Participant

    Thanks for looking at this. Hope you are feeling better!

    I also noticed that the area of interest is not the sharpest. I have noticed when shooting, at times, that the area or subject I want to be sharp doesn’t turn out sharp. I’m not sure whether I’m trying to get too close or just not utilizing the focus correctly. This was one of those cases. I had taken several photos of the berries but none where how I imagined them to turn out.

    #24223
    Duncan Rawlinson
    Keymaster

    It could be a number of things from camera shake/slow shutter speeds or even a faulty lens.

    I would experiment a little and see if you can’t figure it out.

    If you want you can test it doing something like this:
    http://photographylife.com/how-to-quickly-test-your-dslr-for-autofocus-issues

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