USE SUPER-SHALLOW DOF
Employ the extremes of minimal focus range and create dreamy abstract macro images
1 ADJUST CAMERA POSITION To limit depth to only a few millimetres, we need to bring the lens as close to the subject as possible. Fix the camera to a tripod and lower or raise the head to allow the lens to be focused towards its closest available distance.
2 ARRANGE COMPOSITION Try to find an ideal proportion for your framing, keeping in mind how different areas of the subject will appear when out of focus. Remember how colours of blurred areas can merge, so adapt the compositional rules accordingly.
3 CHOOSE THE PERFECT APERTURE Stop down the aperture if you require more sharpness and use DOF preview to see the effect this has on the composition and balance of detail, through the viewfinder. Work in 1/3-stop increments, to allow for minor tweaks in focus depth.
4 ZOOM TO FOCUS (LIVE VIEW) The LCD screen on the back of the camera offers a more detailed view of the through-the-lens image. For assessment of critical sharpness, activate Live View and zoom in while you make minor focusing changes using the manual focus ring on the lens for precision.
5 USE CLOSEST FOCUSING DISTANCE Supershallow focus can only really be achieved at high magnifications. Move the lens to the closest functioning working distance from the subject and if using a zoom lens, use the longer end of the focal range to limit sharpness to an isolated area.
6 SHOOT AND REVIEW When working with such limited depth of field, it is vital to check that there is some discernible sharpness in the subject – take multiple images while altering the composition and focus, review each shot and retake it if micro-adjustments are required.
LeftMINIMAL DETAIL By removing detail from all but a limited part of the frame, the viewer can focus on colour without the image becoming an abstract