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Thread: Learning to use my camera - experiments with DoF

  1. #1

    Learning to use my camera - experiments with DoF

    That link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/banner1...7622497888148/ leads to photos I took yesterday. I was trying to put into the focus one thing (e.g. flowers) when the other thing (e.g. my sister) should stay out of focus. I took a lot of pictures trying to change the distance to object and f stops. I took all the pictures in Av mode. I hope someone will review and criticize them - giving me some advices as well.

  2. #2

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    That link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/banner1...7622497888148/ leads to photos I took yesterday. I was trying to put into the focus one thing (e.g. flowers) when the other thing (e.g. my sister) should stay out of focus. I took a lot of pictures trying to change the distance to object and f stops. I took all the pictures in Av mode. I hope someone will review and criticize them - giving me some advices as well.

    The one with your sister works, but you could have used less depth of field. I can't see the EXIF so I don't know what f-stop you used. Although the f-stop makes a difference, so too does the spatial relationship between the camera, the first subject (your flowers), and the second subject (your sister). If the distance between flowers and sister were twice that of the distance between camera and flowers you would have less depth of field (sister would blur more) than if the two distances were the same. In my shot my model is so out of focus (less DOF) because I used f1.8 and I was pretty close to the phone (probably the same distance as she was from the phone).

    Your shots look too warm on the white balance - the have a reddish tinge. Were they shot with indoor lights on? If so you need to change your white balance to tungsten as indoor lights are a very warm colour and need the WB cooler. And you could do with some more exposure on some of them.

  3. #3

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    The one with your sister works, but you could have used less depth of field. I can't see the EXIF so I don't know what f-stop you used. Although the f-stop makes a difference, so too does the spatial relationship between the camera, the first subject (your flowers), and the second subject (your sister). If the distance between flowers and sister were twice that of the distance between camera and flowers you would have less depth of field (sister would blur more) than if the two distances were the same. In my shot my model is so out of focus (less DOF) because I used f1.8 and I was pretty close to the phone (probably the same distance as she was from the phone).

    Your shots look too warm on the white balance - the have a reddish tinge. Were they shot with indoor lights on? If so you need to change your white balance to tungsten as indoor lights are a very warm colour and need the WB cooler. And you could do with some more exposure on some of them.
    Thanks for your review! Taking my pictures I used f1.8, but I was probably too far from objects. I used also 50D and 50mm lens. Being honest I did not pay attention to white balance - I was focused on DOF only. I will try to correct WB in next tests. Tomorrow I'm gonna try to use different lenses. I want to see how it works with 10 - 20mm and 70 - 300mm lenses. The most difficult thing to me is to put in focus exactly what I want and to blur what I want. I found digital photography is not easy but it's very absorbing.

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    I found digital photography is not easy but it's very absorbing.
    And that is what makes it so fascinating. The important thing is not to feel negative or disheartened at those times when it seems as if everybody else knows so much more than you and you think that you must be stupid because you cannot understand a concept or technique. The great joy is when the 'ah-hah' moment comes (ususally at the oddest times) and suddenly it makes sense.

    Keep enjoying the challenge of learning.

  5. #5

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    I took some pictures today's morning and I think they are a little bit better than pictures I took 2 days ago. Especially, I paid attention to the distance between camera and the object which I wanted to put in focus. I'm gonna take some more pictures then I will post them on flickr.com to review.

  6. #6

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    And that is what makes it so fascinating. The important thing is not to feel negative or disheartened at those times when it seems as if everybody else knows so much more than you and you think that you must be stupid because you cannot understand a concept or technique. The great joy is when the 'ah-hah' moment comes (ususally at the oddest times) and suddenly it makes sense.

    Keep enjoying the challenge of learning.
    The funniest thing is - as I get closer to solve one problem, two others come out. As I go further and deeper new issues appear. That is the way of learning.
    Last edited by Banner1976; 4th October 2009 at 07:18 PM.

  7. #7

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    I just posted some new pictures on flickr.com. I still try to master DOF. Here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/banner1...15626364/show/. I used Canon 50d and 50mm lens. It is easier to me take pictures of small objects, I mean it's easier to manage what to put in focus and what to blur. Problem with bigger objects is that I had to photograph them from distance to include them entirely. So, it was impossible to me to blur the other object in the background. In that way I was able to take a pictures which are entirely in focus, or entirely blurred. Maybe to photograph bigger objects from the distance I should use the other kind of lens?

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Hi Banner1976, or may I call you Yatsek?

    I've had a look through the "second attempt" series, most were shot wide open at f1.8, so all you are really doing is practising focusing. To get the hang of depth of field (DoF) and what it can do, you are going to have to be more adventurous

    A prime example where a greater depth of field would help is he last but one (penultimate) picture in the series; the one with two people, in the foreground (your sister I gather?) and someone behind her.
    In this one, you have set the focus between the two and if only you had shot this with a narrower aperture, say f16, they would both have been a lot more in focus.

    In the shot before (of same two people), you had focused just on the girl and that is a good use of narrow DoF, leaving the chap behind well out of focus.

    Hope that helps,

  9. #9

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Banner1976, or may I call you Yatsek?

    I've had a look through the "second attempt" series, most were shot wide open at f1.8, so all you are really doing is practising focusing. To get the hang of depth of field (DoF) and what it can do, you are going to have to be more adventurous

    A prime example where a greater depth of field would help is he last but one (penultimate) picture in the series; the one with two people, in the foreground (your sister I gather?) and someone behind her.
    In this one, you have set the focus between the two and if only you had shot this with a narrower aperture, say f16, they would both have been a lot more in focus.

    In the shot before (of same two people), you had focused just on the girl and that is a good use of narrow DoF, leaving the chap behind well out of focus.

    Hope that helps,
    Hi Dave!
    You can call me Yatsek, whatever is more comfortable for you. Thank you for your advices. I will keep them in mind. I agree with you I have to be more adventurous. Just check out "third attempt" in a few days. I hope you will see progress. Again, thanks a lot!!

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Hi Yatsek,

    Thanks, and I look forward to the "third attempt"

    Happy shooting,

  11. #11

    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Yatsek,

    Thanks, and I look forward to the "third attempt"

    Happy shooting,
    Hi Dave!

    Work week is coming, so it's gonna be a little bit harder to me to take a lot of pictures. But, i will come out with some of them about Tuesday. By the by it's getting more exciting and absorbing to me with every picture taken. Thanks to this forum and guys like you as well.

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Banner1976 View Post
    Work week is coming, so it's gonna be a little bit harder to me to take a lot of pictures. But, i will come out with some of them about Tuesday. By the by it's getting more exciting and absorbing to me with every picture taken. Thanks to this forum and guys like you as well.
    Yup, I know the problem, work for me too this week, and the next, and the one after that ...
    I shouldn't grumble, I generally like what I do, so I'm lucky (very) and better that than no job.

    There's no rush for next pics, whenever you can will be fine.

    Glad you're enjoying photography, whenever you have a question, you know where we are.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Focal length vs focal distance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Yup, I know the problem, work for me too this week, and the next, and the one after that ...
    Dis wurk is da kurse of da dwinking klass! {***hick***} (pardon me)!

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