Blog 7 of “Nature Photography- Tips and Techniques” series.
Today’s blog is titled “Playing with depth of field”
Please do check out the previous blog in the series Titled “Changing Perspectives”
Please do note that these are my personal observations and not necessarily the only way in the world to make better Images. I am sure there must be a million other ways of doing the same thing.
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Camera settings for both shots:
Camera: Canon 7D Mark II
Lens: Canon 10-18mm
Aperture: f/13 (First Shot), f/4.5 (Second Shot)
Shutter Speed: 1/200 Sec for the first one, 1/1250 for the second
Playing with depth of field:
“Playing with depth of field” here refers to how shooting the same image at different apertures can drastically change how the final image turns out to be.
In today’s blog post, I want to highlight how playing with depth of field can provide background and foreground separation. In this example I have used a shallow depth of field to isolate the flower from the busy background. But depending on the situation, it could sometimes be good to do the exact opposite. ?
While we were out exploring Valley of Flowers, we came across this beautiful green patch. The patch looked strikingly beautiful and contrasty against the deep blue sky, the white snow clad peaks and clouds. Here, I noticed this flower (Polygonum) and decided to take a wide angle macro shot of the same.
Since I was very close to the flower (shooting at 10mm), I narrowed down my aperture to f/13 so that I would have most of the foreground and background in focus. I however didn’t like the end result though.
As you can see the white flower in the foreground ( Polygonum) is getting all mixed up with the background, and there is no separation between the two. So in the next shot I opened my lens wide open to f/4.5 and took the below shot.
Wide angle lenses provide a huge depth of field even at extremely wide apertures. This is what helped me here. By shooting wide open (f/4.5) I was not only able to isolate the flower from the background, but also had enough depth to give sense of the place where the subject was shot in.
The conventional way of shooting landscapes is to narrow down the aperture as much as possible to have everything in sharp focus. And while the rules are good and very effective at producing beautiful images, why not experiment sometimes.?
So to summarize
- In the first image as I am using a very narrow depth of field, there is no separation in the foreground and background. The flower is lost amidst all the greens in the background.
- By opening up my lens to the widest aperture, I am not only able to provide separation, but also have enough depth to provide sense of the place.
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Hope this Helps!!!!