background control (dof)

June 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Tip of the week: My second tip regarding background control would be to think about how much of the background you want in focus. The easiest way to adjust the blurriness or sharpness of a background is to simply change the aperture on the lens. Remember that the larger apertures (f/2) allow for more light (faster shutter speed/lower ISO) and more background blur. I like to use shallow depth of field to hide distracting backgrounds within many of my photos. The difference between what's in focus and what's not also helps draw the viewers eye to the subject. Conversely, if you like the background within the image, you can use a smaller aperture (f/16) to insure that everything within the photo is sharp.

Using a wide aperture while shooting does have some drawbacks... The range of acceptable focus will be very narrow, so it can be easy to miss focus on the subject entirely. Portraits can be especially difficult since the face has to be lined up perfectly parallel with the focal plane to insure proper focus on both eyes. When the correct focus is achieved, it can create wonderful images, however be prepared to edit out many images where only the nose, ears, or eyebrows are in focus.

50mm                 f/16                   1/40sec                    ISO 400 50mm                     f/1.4                   1/1600sec                  ISO 100

 


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