An Area of Confusion (Three Photographs)

Mallard on TrunkTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

In my experience Photographers like to talk about the use of depth of field. The first of these photos was taken at F4.5, the rest at F2.8. This makes a marginal difference to the background and its prominence. In fact for my taste the bird is too close to the background. The tendency to shoot at the largest possible aperture for better background (Bokeh) or alternatively to shoot with the smallest possible aperture to have as much in focus as possible are extremes. Ideally we exercise some choice in aperture to acquire the effect we want. This is why DSLR cameras have depth of field preview buttons and many mirror-less cameras’ EVFs can be set to show the effect of the aperture. The farther away an average subject is the smaller the aperture you need to get it in focus, the reverse is true for macro where depth of field is at a premium. In all cases one-third in front of your subject and two-thirds behind it should be in focus. In nature photography where both depth of field and shutter speed may be important, a larger aperture may be preferable not just for the background effect but also because it gives you a higher shutter speed. This can come at the expense of context. Depth of field is the hard science of photography but worth experimenting with to discover what works for you and your subject.

Mallard on Trunk-3

Mallard on Trunk-2

9 responses

  1. bmbailey

    Beautiful photos. As an aspiring photographer, I appreciate your tips.

    Like

    January 12, 2016 at 1:42 am

  2. Like the tip

    Like

    January 12, 2016 at 10:09 am

  3. For some reason, this is a tough concept for me. I appreciate your going over it. I figure sooner or later, it’s all going to click!

    Like

    January 12, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    • Hard to grasp for sure. Hope my blog helps.

      Like

      January 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      • It really does, thanks! You might look at my work and think “she’s not getting it” but have faith, don’t give up on me – lol!

        Like

        January 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

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