Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Photography skill building attempt #4, depth of field

Dang. In class our teacher had this really cool presentation, which he hadn't planned on using for our class but put up on the wall anyway once the discussion about depth of field sprang up. He placed three toy/figurines on a dining room table about a foot apart, and then had the camera sitting about a foot and a half away from the first item. He focused in on the first item (closest to the camera) and used the aperture setting to take the item from a very large aperture (think f/1.8) where only the first toy/figurine was in focus and the rest was blurry to a very small aperture (think f/16) to where everything was in focus. I tried to recreate this by using a couple of small trinkets we've received during our travels over the years (i.e., one miniature Eiffel Tower, one teeny lead painted member of the Queen's guard, and a hallowed out perfume doll that holds a small vial of rose water from Bulgaria). Unfortunately, this attempt did not yield the type of results I had hoped for. (See following photos for evidence of my disastrous attempt.)
Shutter 1/125 Aperture f/2.0 ISO 800

Shutter 1/125 Aperture f/13.0 ISO 800*

Shutter 1/3 Aperture f/13.0 ISO 800

Attempt number cinq is around the corner and will include these changes - larger smallish figurines. It was too hard to focus on the Eiffel Tower and the little guard, both of which took turns as the lead before I tanked the attempt altogether. And I'll move the experiment to the dining room table, the coffee table clearly didn't have enough space. That being said, you can still see the difference and with the corresponding description understand what I was trying to do, can't you? (For those with keen eyes, you'll notice I was focusing in on the second item in the row.)

On the upside, I did get a few shots of Henry I really liked. Apparently wearing dinosaur pajamas while sporting a fever of 101.2 makes him more camera-friendly, as in he doesn't move nearly as fast as he usually does.
Shutter 1/80 Aperture f/5.6 ISO 800

Shutter 1/80 Aperture f/5.6 ISO 800

*Wait. Um, where did all the light go? ... <insert pause while brain processes information> ... And here, gentle readers, is where I learn that if you remove the source of light streaming through the rather gargantuan opening that is f/2.0 by changing the settings to what can only be described as a pinhole of light from the stop that is f/13.0, your picture will be DARK. Let's hope this sticks with me as this mistake, while somewhat humorous, is also a bit embarrassing.


Amber said...

(scanning my notes...) Just something to keep in mind for next time: he started with a 1/125 shutter speed and f/1.4 (which led to the front item being in focus and the next 2 being super blurry). But by the time he got up/down to f/22, the shutter speed was 2 seconds (which led to everything being in focus evenly). 2 seconds is a long time, which counters for the really small aperture. Right?

And great shots of sick Henry! I love the one with a tilted head. You're making better progress than me. I don't think I even picked up the camera yesterday! But I'm up to my eyeballs in sick (still just Avery), so I'm using that as my excuse. :)

Shawn and Becky said...

Very interesting . . . thankfully digital photography produces instant gratification so you can see when you get it right and/or where you go wrong. What kind of camera are you using?

Christie said...

Amber - I've been over here thinking your shots are way better than mine so, um, perhaps we are both brilliant photographers-in-training?

Becky - I'm using the Nikon D40x with a 50mm f/1.4G Nikkor lens.

Dr. A said...

Great shots of Henry.

Does he have the piggy flu like everyone else in PDX?