June’s theme / technique: Being Creative with DOF
The six visual keys to a great photograph are:
- Depth of field
OK so first of all what is Depth of Field?
A basic definition of depth of field is: the zone of acceptable sharpness within a photo that will appear in focus. In every picture there is a certain area of your image in front of, and behind the subject that will appear in focus.
Using a shallow depth of field is a good way to make your subject stand out from its background and is great for portrait photography and wildlife photography when you don’t want the background to distract from your subject.
If you are a person who likes to photograph landscapes you would want everything from near to far to be in focus. This is known as a deep depth of field.
Please read the first assignment in this month’s topic for slightly more technical information and how to control the depth of field.
This week's assignment - We are looking at the shallow depth of field again this week to get close up to your subject. Use either a macro lens OR the macro setting on your camera to get in as close as you can and still retain a sharp focus
- Use a Macro lens if you have one. Remember that this has a very shallow depth of field, the sharpness is often focused on a minute part of the subject with the rest out of focus (blurred). With this very narrow focus it becomes important to use a tripod, because even the slightest movement of the camera will move your macro subject outside your depth of field.
- Use the macro setting on your camera if you have one. Take the same shot using a normal setting and one with the Macro option. Compare the two photographs. Is there a difference in your photos?
- Choosing a large aperture (lower f-stop, like f2.8) creates very shallow depth of field with only the subject, or just a portion of the subject, in focus.
I have been interested in macro photography for a number of years, but never owned a camera that could really get that close in and still be focused. Until I decided to upgrade to an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera to which I could add various lenses (see My Camera Equipment for more information). I couldn’t afford the EM1 so setttled for the EM10. After getting used to the camera and the kit lenses I bought my first macro lens in 2015. It was a steep learning curve to handle the lens, not helped by problems with the camera’s shutter.
My focus is on plants and insects as when you have a true macro 1:1 photo you see so much more than you do with the naked eye. I am not an expert. There are far better macro photographers out there and far better examples, but here are a few of mine taken over the last 5 years. You do need to click on these images to enlarge them to get the full detail.
Flowers and Plants
I hope you can see how fascinating Macro photography can be. If you’d like to see more then I have more than 100 Macros on my flower blog although not all were taken with the macro lens. Sometimes using a zoom lens is more useful especially in windy weather or where you can’t get close enough, but you won’t get that true 1:1 magnification.
If you would like to join in with the 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page. No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂
- Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
- Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
- Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
- Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in July.