March 19, 2013

DOF - Sparkles and Bows

Depth Of Field.  And Apertures.

Got me some learning this week!  More on that in a second.  But first:

Hey, Christie, your name was selected.
I'll do a photo edit for you :>)
Thank you for following along my blog adventure.
I'll find you on facebook.

Back to my learning!
I'm taking an online class at The Define School for the next few weeks.  I'm encouraged because I'm actually farther along in my abilities and understanding than I thought, AND I'm still learning so much.  It's awesome to have a mentor to answer all my questions that have puzzled me and give more information that sure explains a lot.

This past week I was learning about apertures and how it affects depth of field, better known as DOF.
There's always an acronym, right?

For most of you, you can scroll down and just view the photos :>)

For my journaling's sake and for anyone interested (Mom will always listen to what I'm up to; that's what moms do), this is what I'm cogitating over from the week:


1.  Without changing the aperture (lens opening size), I can increase or decrease the DOF just by how close I am to the subject.  If I want the background blurred out, step in closer to the subject.  If I want the background to be more in focus, step back.  I can always crop later.  (I do need to ask about photo clarity after cropping when printing though.  I've heard different opinions on this.)

This photo of Lindsey and her sparkly ring (!) shows her in focus, while Ryan is blurred.  Not that I don't love his face... but for the photo, I wanted to bring attention to the ring and Lindsey, with a hint of Ryan who put the sparkle on her finger and the sparkle in her eyes. 

There's another photo below, showing only the ring being in focus. I had stepped in closer, keeping the aperture the same.  Plus, with her hand extended, it separated the ring further from her face, making her face not fall into range of the DOF set for the ring.

All photos were taken with my 50mm lens, aperture set at 1.8.

I also experimented with Justin and his loyal sidekick, staging our own sort of Hunger Games scenario. lol! Starting in close, I focused on just the arrow tip, backed up then focused on the arrow shaft, backed up some more to focus on the bow, etc.  You'll see the photos below.

More sparkle!  

2.  I always wondered when shooting at the indoor soccer field (which has really poor lighting, btw), why my zoom lens would often not let me fully open my aperture, to let in more light.  Answer:  When the lens is zoomed out, it has the widest opening available.  After zooming in to get a closer shot, the aperture automatically closes down smaller, leaving me with a darker photo from zooming in (if I don't change any other settings to compensate).  Aha!  The photos further down field were always darker...  even though I thought the settings weren't changed.  Actually, the aperture does change. But now I am repeating myself.

Note to self:  When wanting to let in more light (like taking photos indoors where it's not so bright), keep the aperture open wider. Don't use the zoom on the lens; use the zoom on my feet to keep a wider aperture, thus getting a brighter photo.  Of course, there are times when I can't get closer, like on the soccer field.  Outdoor soccer isn't a problem because it has plenty of light. For indoor soccer, bumping up ISO or slowing shutter will help compensate. If only the kids didn't move so fast!  Or if only my camera didn't mind high ISO's!

OK!  Here is our take on the Hunger Games...  i.e., my photo practice with DOF:
You can click on the photos to enlarge in a picture viewer.

Just the arrowhead....

The arrow shaft...

The bow in focus...

The sharp eye...

Face and body in focus...

Justin in focus.... sort of :>)

Justin with wider DOF

Each of these progressed by my taking a step back and re-focusing on a new element.
All done at  f/1.8.

This coming week it's about shutter speed and ISO.
I love capturing motion, so this shall be fun.

There is sunlight today!!  That will make photo taking easier and more enjoyable!


  1. Very cool! Our boys look great! I mean you took some really good pictures! I sort of understood all the technical stuff too. Lindsay's ring is beautiful by the way. I officially need your photography skills for my quilt! Yay! Keep up the good work! Lots of exclamation points...must be the sunshine. :)

  2. You are working hard to get to know your camera or learning to make photos - I am impressed - What I like most is the "Sharp Eye" mainly because it reminds me of a portrait photo I made when I was studying photography when I was young (I am an educated retired photographer today if you didn't know ;) ) The last of your photo is missing an expression or emotion in the young man's face - What you can do is to tell your "victim" to think of something special that makes them either angry - sad or happy. Even in this kind of photo as the last one.
    Yes - as Julien said it is very cool your work!!! Thank you for sharing them, Karen

    1. Thank you so much, Mariane, for your input! While I didn't know you are a trained photographer, I definitely could tell by your work that you are very skilled and talented at what you do. I am amazed by your work. And yes, I am trying to conquer this camera of mine... and have found I really enjoy creating photos. So please, I'll take any critique at any time, especially from someone whose work I admire!

    2. My Pleasure, Karen .. If you like I would like to show you what to do with your photos same kind of the guy fun? - If I am allowed I will copy them and show you? You are doing it really really great and you found the depth of the colours which I love. Just some small beauty flaws - :) To get to know you camera - well dear Karen you are there for the super things - how about the Macro? - Landscape without people? Animals? - and my speciality.. Portrait. You can make it look like it is done in a studio. Sorry I am on vacation right now but I will have time do this for you. Hugs

    3. That would be wonderful if you would like to do that! It would be a great learning experience for me, and I am so appreciative. Your editing skills are remarkable; you can turn anything into artwork. Thank you so much for offering; that is so kind. I am looking forward to seeing your work on the photos. Be sure to tell me about the details I should be looking for so I can improve.
      Enjoy your vacation time :>)


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