USE SU­PER-SHAL­LOW DOF

Em­ploy the ex­tremes of min­i­mal fo­cus range and cre­ate dreamy ab­stract macro im­ages

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

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

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