Attempted use of bokeh - C&C??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by blurred, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. blurred

    blurred TPF Noob!

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    Trying to get better with this style so that I am not constantly fudging with the focus and distance that I am standing at to attain the blur that I am wanting to achieve. Also, I usually found it hard to select WHAT to focus on, for instance, in the first picture. Would there have been something better to focus on? Maybe a better angle to look at the branch?

    Still fuzzy on how to get a bigger difference between the focal point and something that is pretty close to it like in the second shot. The flower is the focal point, but the leaf that is near is also in focus, at least on my screen. Is there a decent way to get a better DOF to blur that leaf a little more even though it's so close to the bud?

    Any ideas would be appreciated.


    1.
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    2.
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  2. KenC

    KenC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Moving around for different angles can help, but basically you are limited by the way the world chooses to arrange itself. #2 is a good shot, probably better if you crop a little on the right and the bottom and darken that bright diagonal stripe in the background on the left (assuming you can do it without leaving visible artifacts - or perhaps remove it instead). However, #1 probably won't work out - the problem I think is that the branch has a lot of depth and all parts of it are about equally interesting, so something will always be out of focus that seems like it shouldn't.
     
  3. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    This is not 'bokeh'.

    This is "selective focus".

    Bokeh is the quality of the out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a given lens.
     
  4. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    The backround in the first image is almost 'painful' to look at. The second image is better.

    One of the things I am learning, is that unless one is naturally talented, it takes time to develop the skills necessary to do what others have learned to do and make it seem so easy to do.
    Learn how to use your camera and lens, and you will not need to alter the photo to get the desired backround you aspire to shoot.
     
  5. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Selective focus usually works best on subject matter that is shallow, for obvious reasons.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Bokeh is not something that can be controlled by the photographer, it is a property of the lens. In that respect a photographer can only control bokeh by deciding which lens to purchase.

    What you are calling bokeh, is actually depth-of-field (DOF).



    DOF is controlled by 4 factors:
    1. subject to image sensor distance
    2. subject to background distance
    3. lens focal length
    4. lens aperture
    It is very helpful if the camera you use has a DOF Preview button that stops the lens down to the aperture you have selected.

    To keep the viewfinder image a bright as possible, the lens isn't stopped down until the shutter is released, which is why the DOF Preview button comes in handy.

    In the shot of the bud you used f/5.6 and a focal length of 255 mm. To blur the leaf close to the bud more, you would change 1 or more of the 4 controlling parameters. The easiest to change would be subject distance, focal length, and/or aperture.

    Your lens was likely at it's widest available aperture at 255 mm. You could have shortened the focal length, allowing a larger lens opening, and gotten the subject closer to the image sensor.

    There are a couple of online DOF calculators:

    http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm
    Online Depth of Field Calculator

    Not everyone would agree that shallow DOF is 'better'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  7. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    I'm guessing because you are set at f5.6, you cannot get any lower to help blur your background more for you. If you have a lens with a lower f stop that will help you get to the effect you are looking for. The wider your opening, the shallower the depth of field will be.

    As for what to focus on, you need a point of interest... a reason to get the viewer to look "there". Using the shallow DOF helps to isolate interesting objects. You see photogs doing this with flowers all the time. The difficult part is knowing your depth of field and how much of the object to leave in focus. There are lots of DOF calculators out there (I've got a free one I downloaded for my iPod). It's also good when you when to calculate your hyper-focal distance.

    With the two shots below, because there is nothing on the stick, then the stick is the point of interest. When you use selective focus on an object, visually we search for what you are trying to show us. For that shot, I would try to get the whole stick in focus.

    The flower is the easier shot because there isn't other stuff immediately around it. With a lower F stop (wider open) you could get the background to blur to make the sharpness pop out of the image.
     
  8. blurred

    blurred TPF Noob!

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    Awesome! I really appreciate the words of wisdom! Always helps to get an outsiders view to see something that I didn't think of. Now I have a couple more tools in my bag to take back out and play with...

    And for the terminology, thanks. If a mod wants to change the title so there isn't any confusion then please do. I was told that that was what I was doing and did a little research and thought that it was similar. My apologies.

    And yes, it was set at the lowest possible fstop. And with my oh-so-limited selection of lenses that was basically the best I could get...


    While I do see where you are coming from on the background on the first, these pictures are untouched other than the border. Not being defensive, I was just personally pleased that I didn't have to alter them and was able to get that type of lighting in the shots.

    And learning the skills that others have mastered is the reason I am hear. I need as much criticism as possible. :lol:
     
  9. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Constructive criticism - ;)

    I was not thinking you were being defensive. I misunderstood, and thought you had altered the background.
     
  10. blurred

    blurred TPF Noob!

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    any and all criticism is constructive to me... Let's you know where you stand in the world.

    Again, really appreciate the help.
     

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