Shallow depth of field and Movement

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    I practiced using the manual controls on my new Sony Nex5. Never having used manual controls before, I learned a lot. I found the shallow depth of field to be a bit tricky, I had to get very close to the subject. My lense is an 18-55 mm, I can’t get the aperture lower (or larger) than about 4, why is this? Why can’t I do, say, 2.8? I’m a bit confused about this part. 😕

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Debbie!! is going on holiday from today Dec 8 until Jan 1.

    I will try to critique this during the holidays but there is no guarantee I will be able to get online.

    Thanks for your understanding and Happy Holidays to you!



    Ok, thanks. Have a great vacation!

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Debbie!

    Thanks for submitting lesson 3 which reads as follows:

    Lesson 3 Assignment Title: Finding Depth and Motion

    This assignment will have you prove to yourself that you understand how to create motion within a photograph and create a shallow depth of field. It’s a two part assignment and will require that you upload two different photo’s to our online student grading center.

    The first photograph should be captured using a slow shutter speed on a moving subject which will create the illusion of motion within a two dimensional space.

    The second photograph should be a shot of a shallow depth of field. The objects in your foreground should be in focus while your background should be slightly blurred.

    If you don’t have manual control over your camera you should reverse the rules for the second photograph.

    If you don’t have manual control of your camera your first photo should be of a fast shutter speed where you freeze a fast moving object of your choice. Most cameras that don’t have manual control have a fast shutter speed by default.

    Your second photo should be of the largest possible depth of field you can achieve. Again, most cameras that don’t have manual control of this feature are usually built to capture a large depth of field.

    First, it looks cold where you are!

    Second, I’m happy that you’ve attempted to learn the manual controls on your camera. This is really key if you want to take your photography seriously.

    To answer your question, your lens may not be be able to shoot beyond f/4. It’s hard for me to tell you why exactly because I’m not familiar with that lens/camera combo.

    You have submitted two photographs.

    Your first photograph features a person feeding some seagulls. It’s quite a nice image.

    You’ve used a slightly slow shutter speed to highlight the motion of the wings of the birds.

    You’ve done very well and you can literally see the motion of the frame. So job well done on that part of the assignment.

    This is the kind of image (with a little more practice) that makes photograph special. You can capture these amazing little moments of joy and beauty and freeze them in time forever.

    In this case the photo needs some work on a technical level but the idea behind the photo and how you’ve composed it really show a lot of promise.

    Your second photograph is your shallow depth of field image.

    The image does have some depth to it but I can still make some things our in the background.

    Consider this, if you want to highlight something and remove a background that doesn’t add any value to the frame then shoot a photograph with shallow depth of field.

    So you can work a little more on your depth of field shots.

    If you have to, take another look at the lesson notes for this assignment and pay special attention to the depth of field.

    Thanks for submitting this.

    I’m looking forward to your next work.

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