STE P BY STE P / Turn the or­di­nary into the ex­tra­or­di­nary

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Use a fast lens

The ideal lens for this shot is one ca­pa­ble of us­ing a wide aper­ture, such as f/1.8. You’ll be shoot­ing wide open to cre­ate an ex­tremely shal­low depth of field. A lens ca­pa­ble of fo­cus­ing rea­son­ably closely re­duces depth of field even fur­ther, as does a longer fo­cal length.

2 Play with shad­ows

We used a plain piece of white pa­per as the back­drop on a ta­ble. The sil­very grey fork casts shad­ows against the pa­per, form­ing sim­ple shapes and lines. We played around with the place­ment of our fork in front of a win­dow to change the di­rec­tion of the light.

3 Shoot wide open

Set Aper­ture Pri­or­ity mode and shoot wide open for the shal­low­est depth of field. An aper­ture such as f/1.4 should re­sult in a shut­ter speed fast enough to shoot hand­held, even in­doors, but if your images are blurry due to the shut­ter speed be­ing too slow, in­crease ISO.

4 At­tached a diop­tre

If you’re strug­gling to get close enough to fill the frame, con­sider us­ing an adapter like the Raynox DCR-250 diop­tre. Al­though they de­grade the op­ti­cal qual­ity of a lens, they’re a cheap al­ter­na­tive for get­ting closer to your sub­ject with­out us­ing an ex­ten­sion tube or macro lens.

5 Use a tri­pod

If there still isn’t enough light in your home stu­dio setup and your ISO is al­ready too high, try us­ing a tri­pod. If you’re us­ing a diop­tre and no ex­ter­nal flash (as we were here) and you don’t have a tri­pod to hand, use a bag to prop your cam­era up.

6 Ex­per­i­ment with com­po­si­tion

This is where artis­tic li­cense comes into play. You can pho­to­graph the fork in any po­si­tion you want. Prong-on, a three-quar­ters an­gle or up­side-down with the prongs onto the pa­per so it casts a shadow? There are no wrong com­po­si­tions, just ex­per­i­ment and have fun.

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