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Thread: Which one should be blurred?

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Which one should be blurred?

    I always struggle with an scene like this one:

    Which one should be blurred?


    In a picture like this, which one should be blurred? The background or the foreground? What do you think?

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    Perhaps neither (try a narrow aperture?)

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    If you put yourself in the boys shoes everything but the dog and the boy. But I suspect you want lens dof so the boy slightly out of focus or end of dof with dog and fence sharp. Everything else blurred.

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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    It depends on what you want the viewer to look at. Personally i think the boy is the main subject and the dog secondary, therefore the dog should be just slightly blurred to put more weight on the boy. If they are both in perfect focus, you might be guessing on which one is the subject.

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    Amberglass's Avatar
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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    It depends on what you want the viewer to look at. Personally i think the boy is the main subject and the dog secondary, therefore the dog should be just slightly blurred to put more weight on the boy. If they are both in perfect focus, you might be guessing on which one is the subject.
    Exactly Steve. Also how much depth of field/AF point used/applied can also translate how and where your thoughts are being conveyed within the image to tell a story.

    For example: the little girl in the background admiring the RG taking the mat.
    Which one should be blurred?

    I loved this little RG's eyes how she presented herself to the judges, and that's her coach looking on in the background. I could've easily increased the f stop from 4 to 5.6 to bring the background figure slightly more into focus which would bring them more into thought in the composition artistically on both. But I really loved the focus and expression in the RG's eyes.

    Which one should be blurred?

    A photo from a tennis camp brochure that I took this past summer. I wanted to show the focus and concentration of the camper, from behind, watching the ball about to be hit; but at the same time, the main point of interest is the little boy taking a swing at the ball.
    Which one should be blurred?

    The reverse, I wanted you to look at the instructor and the camper, not all the attention of where the ball was going.
    Which one should be blurred?

    DOF is a method of story telling and staging. Just like a theatrical staging, you should always take into consideration how the back, middle, and fore grounds applies to the point of interest(s). it can be applied in combinations of fore to middle, middle to back, visa versa, or all.

    In regards to your image. Since the dog is looking away and your son is more focused on the dog; the point of interest is correct; if that's what you intended. If the dog was more interested/looking at your son, and your son is looking away; then the dog being more in focus would make more sense. It's all about who is looking at whom. Hopes this helps you.
    Last edited by Amberglass; 10th January 2010 at 07:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    Good discussion. Thanks!

    I think putting both in focus as Colin suggested will make both of them the focus of attention that is not what I wanted. But at the same time, I think the dog is too blurred may be. Anyway, this kind of selective blurring adds a lot to the story and I like it a lot

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    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    Alis, I agree that the sharp focus on the boy and soft focus on the dog tells the story. A little more focus on the dog would help some, but it tells the story the way it is.

    Good shot. I like.

    Pops

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    Amberglass's Avatar
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    Re: Which one should be blurred?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Good discussion. Thanks!

    I think putting both in focus as Colin suggested will make both of them the focus of attention that is not what I wanted. But at the same time, I think the dog is too blurred may be. Anyway, this kind of selective blurring adds a lot to the story and I like it a lot
    It's important to remember that your DOF is affected not only by the f stop/aperture but also the focal length of the lens, but also the following:

    1. The distance you are from subject.
    2. The distance behind the subject.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-9rbFF3cWg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m10f_...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgYo0...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJj7V...eature=related
    Last edited by Amberglass; 11th January 2010 at 03:01 AM.

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