Ex­per­i­ment with fo­cus

Try pho­tograph­ing a recog­nis­able land­mark com­pletely out of fo­cus for more cre­ative re­sults

NPhoto - - Night Vision -

One way in which you can give a much-pho­tographed scene a new spin is to shoot it out-of-fo­cus. This might seem a lit­tle avant-garde for some, but give it a go and you’ll see how the lights within your scene look in­cred­i­ble when de­fo­cused into blobs of beau­ti­ful bokeh. The chal­lenge is to keep some sem­blance of fa­mil­iar­ity in the im­age so that it’s more than just a col­lec­tion of coloured spots, so look for an­gles that clearly show off the shape of the build­ing or land­mark. With the London Eye here that’s not too tricky!

To add depth we in­cluded the dap­pled fairy lights on fore­ground trees. Cap­tur­ing out-of-fo­cus scenes might seem sim­ple (after all, we’ve all done it plenty of times by ac­ci­dent) but it still re­quires a lit­tle prac­tice to vi­su­alise the night-time neon world as cir­cles and shapes. So to be­gin with, switch your lens to man­ual fo­cus mode, ramp up the ISO and shoot hand­held. Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent com­po­si­tions while ro­tat­ing your lens ring to cre­ate dif­fer­ent strengths of bokeh. Once you set­tle on a com­po­si­tion you like, grab your tri­pod and lower the ISO to take your fi­nal shot.

As you’d ex­pect, it’s al­ways worth get­ting a clas­sic shot of the land­mark while you’re there. With slow-mov­ing struc­tures like the London Eye here, you could try length­en­ing your ex­po­sure even longer than a typ­i­cal night-time shot by at­tach­ing a Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ter to your lens. This will al­low for ex­po­sures of sev­eral min­utes that trans­form the mov­ing lights into won­der­fully fluid streaks.

CLAS­SIC

CRE­ATIVE

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