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Up to the challenge?

Tips, Tricks and Updates

Up to the challenge?

Bryan Weiss

The challenge was Shallow Depth Of Field.  So I thought...  What are the technical ways to create shallow depth of field?   

Focal length - Zoom in to the max focal length on any zoom lens and you will create shallower dof.  The longer the focal length the shallower it gets.  

Aperture - A more open aperture will create less depth of field.  When you think of aperture values, an easy way to remember if it's a big or a small aperture when you see the F# would be to think of the number that is closer to a 0 as a more open hole.  f1.8 v f22  1.8 is closer to 0 than 22..  So it's a more open aperture.  

Proximity - The closer you get to your subject, the shallower the depth of field.  If you hold your finger out in front of you at arm's length and as you stare at it, pull it closer.  You'll notice the background blur more .... before you go cross eyed and feel a little sick.. 

When you combine these three things the dof is even shallower!   So.....  That's where I went with my theme.   

This photo was made by light painting with red and white flashlights.  It's a 30 second exposure at f4 and shot at 85mm.  The lens I used was my 24-85 Nikon f2.8-f4D.  I love this lens because it has the ability to switch it into macro mode and I can get much closer focusing distance.  

So to sum it up, I shot all the way zoomed in with a lens that has very close focusing ability and opened up the aperture all the way at that focal length.  I've combined all three ways to create shallow dof therefore it is incredibly shallow. 

As far as the content of the photo.  I have had a bit of a stressful situation with .... how do I put this.... humans lately and needed to get back to what's important.  Peace and love.  I thought it was fitting and it was quite therapeutic as well making this photo.  I used a red gel on a flashlight to make the red and I used a normal white flashlight with a homemade snoot attachment on it for the white that draws the eye to where the story is.  

I didn't edit this photo.  Not that I don't believe in editing, I just didn't think it needed any.  

Here's a cell phone shot of the set up.   A TV dinner tray, a garbage bag a camera, remote and 2 flashlights.  With the lens zoomed in and the camera so close to the stones, all I needed to do was move the rear stone a few inches from the front one to make it virtually unreadable.  

Here's a cell phone shot of the set up.   A TV dinner tray, a garbage bag a camera, remote and 2 flashlights.  With the lens zoomed in and the camera so close to the stones, all I needed to do was move the rear stone a few inches from the front one to make it virtually unreadable.  

So this is how I created shallow depth of field but how would you do it?  If you like the challenge than I hope I get to see your interpretation!