Depth of Field for “Arty” Images

My favorite style|technique relies on

Selective focus which in turn relies on

Depth of Field

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Not Your Typical Botany Text Daisy

Shot edge-on; focus on tip of nearest petal; wide open aperture

105mm macro lens + 1.4X teleconverter; tripod; natural light

Like most images that "break rules"

Don't just bend the rules a little; break them in half

You want the viewer to know it's on purpose, not operator error
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A lot of viewers (& many judges) don't care for this

And that's all right

Shoot for yourself and don't worry about it

Floral images were my 1st photographic love

It’s now twelve years later and they still are

The variety is endless

I could spend hours with a single flower

And still not exhaust the possibilities


With selective focus, you have lots of options –

1. Depth of field length which depends on

  • Aperture
  • Focal Length
  • Distance from subject

2. Focal point about which DOF is centered

Here are a few examples; focal point circled in red

Click for full screen

6-24-2013 12-16-06 PM


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Echoes

High Key + Selective Focus = Soft “Echoes”

I don’t yearn to visit photo icons

Half Dome at Yosemite for example

Apart from checking the “been there, done that” box

There’s nothing new; all done millions of times

Fortunately, my tastes run to the simple side

Give me some flowers + my camera & I’m happy

.


I’ve seen far fewer images like this next one than

Half Dome, Grand Tetons, NY Skyline,….

or – Yet another snow-capped mountain

reflected in a lake (they all look the same to me)

Of course, floral images aren’t everyone’s cup of tea 😉

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LOOK at ME!! and me, and me

To attract a viewer’s attention

If one abstract flower isn’t enough

How about an echo?

If one echo’s not enough, how about another?

I started without the lower lily

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Making this image –

Exposure – increased exposure compensation

Until the white background was blown out

Then a bit more until “blinkies” appeared on the flowers

Then – backed off 1/3 stop

Result was + 1.7 EV

Focus – Shot with a macro lens & 1.4X teleconverter

This combo gave a paper-thin depth of field

Distance from nearest flower (with water drop) to the

Farthest (upper left) was several inches

Wide open aperture made the upper just a colored blob

I shot this at f/11, 22, 32 & 45

Wanted to see the effect first hand

The above is the f/45 version

Composition – the key to the result IMO; I wanted

To fill the frame (no cropping, thanks)

More or less even spacing between the

Closest parts of each flower to the next

No overlap or touching

More or less equal distance from the frame and

Water drop from side & bottom

Upper flower from top

This took a lot of “fiddling” & reshooting

 Post-processing – almost none

A very little color contrast adjustment

Using Color Efex Pro’s Contrast Color Range filter

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Shot indoors

Natural light, tripod, circular polarizer, white background

————

A preference ?

First one or this one?

I like the eye movement better on the 1st one

This one is how it was shot

D300_130618_093221__DSC6928 nx wbdl cepseplum25-1

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Make your computer better than new

Summary – As photographers, we rely heavily on our computers. Here’s a tip to speed up your system ten-fold. My four-year old laptop is now faster than the day I got it. 😉

Roll mouse to see the original capture

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Where Old Signs Go to Die

A possible case where analog film effects work

Converted to B&W in Silver Efex Pro

Created the plate camera look with Analog Efex Pro


There’s the old adage –

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link

To that I’d add –

Your computer is only as fast as its slowest component

In most computers that component is

The primary hard disk drive

If you use Windows, check your Windows Experience Index

Adding a solid state drive (SSD) improved my

Disk data transfer rate from 5.2 to 7.8 (scale of 1 to 7.9)

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On a more practical note, tasks that took minutes, e.g.

Booting, load a large data base, file transfers, etc.

Are now easily 10X or more faster

Start-up is now ~20 seconds, not 3+ minutes 🙂

Of particular note is caching of images for post-processing

A large SSD cache is  almost as good

As having the image in RAM memory

My SSD is 1 TB; dwarfs the PC’s 8GB of RAM

.

Try it – You’ll like it

.


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OnOne Software’s $99.95 Perfect Effects – FREE

Summary – For a limited time you can download OnOne Software’s $99.95 Perfect Effects 8 for FREE

 

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Nature Trail Walk – open spaces & bright sun

Big mistake – I’m susceptible to sun-poisoning

Today I feel like a truck hit me

Aches & all – like a bad case of flu

No way to feel while on vacation

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Perfect Effects is one piece (of 8) of OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite

Recommended

.

Read all about this free download here

[11AM EST 5/7/14] Be patient trying the link

For some reason (site busy?) it doesn’t always work

Not only this free download, but the entire site


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Your Image – When is “Good” Good Enough?

Summary – I once wrote a post with this identical title. The answer to the question is still the same.

If you missed that post or

You’ve forgotten the answer

Read it here.

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My wife does newsletters, websites, posters, etc.

For community organizations

When she goes to meetings

She uses a simple 6-year-old point & shoot for photos

Auto-everything, jpeg, low resolution

Good enough for on-line under 800 pixel long side images?

You bet!

When she makes large (24×36) posters & programs

She brings out the big gun

That would be me and my D800E 😉

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I’m the tech guy around here

When she brings home an image

I do a 5-10 minute post-processing job

And the result is more than good enough

For internet low-res display

Case in point – what I just finished for one of her newsletters

Modern post-processing tools are magical

Before & After LR5

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Good Enough

Click image for 1600 pixels wide (the above is 450 pixels)

The actual version is 3,648 wide

Better than good enough for this small-scale web display

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Free eBook – Craft & Vision, TEN MORE

Summary – The 4th in a series of free photography eBooks. I’m freeing up time in order to finish my abstract photography project.


Click on this image to go to the download

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Enter the International Abstract Photography Exhibit

Entries close March 31st; it’s free

Entry details are here

The gallery is here


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Free eBook – Craft & Vision, TEN

Summary – The 3rd in a series of free photography eBooks. I’m freeing up time in order to finish my abstract photography project.


. Cl

Click on this image to go to the download

2014-02-18_12-42-47

________________________________________________________

Enter the International Abstract Photography Exhibit

Entries close March 31st; it’s free

Entry details are here

The gallery is here

008_DSC4376_nx sepblog

Not an abstract 😉

One of my favorite spots (& shots)


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