Depth of Field

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by zbo2408, May 18, 2008.

  1. zbo2408

    zbo2408 TPF Noob!

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    So I had totally awesome light this morning to take some shots of my back yard that I have been playing in trying to make it beautiful, I have an amazing yellow Hibiscus in a pot on my patio...

    My goal was to take shots of the Hibiscus in the lower left 1/3 of the camera with the rest of my yard blurry but the Hibiscus sharp.

    I have a Cannon PowerShot A95 I set up the tripod, did everything totally manual, Time, Aper, White Balance, ISO Focus... I used the biggest aperture i have 2.5 or 2.8 w/e it is and set the ISO & Time accordingly. My backyard is about 75-125 feet long approx... I used manual focus I was about 1-4 feet away from the hibiscus & I could not get the yard out of focus. I took toooons of shots changing everything I could & still the yard was clear along w/ the hibiscus... Finally I put the camera right on top of the hibiscus & focused for Macro finally the yard is out of focus, now the only problem is the Hibiscus is 85% of the photo...

    What was I doing wrong? Was I trying to do something impossible?

    I am a noobie & I was really excited I had thought it out & knew exactly how everything was going to come out... except it didn't :/

    I have not uploaded the photos to photobucket yet but will work on that asap....

    Any & All advice is appreciated.

    ALSO I was not shooting Raw is there any way to show the techniques I was using in the picture? I uploaded them from the C/F w/ some of the Microsoft junk on my pc... Thx
     
  2. Smith2688

    Smith2688 TPF Noob!

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    Since P&S digital cameras have such small sensors, nearly everything is usually in focus unless something is right near the camera, as was the case for your macro shot.

    You can try doing the same setup with the tripod as before and zooming, this will help make the DOF more shallow.
     
  3. zbo2408

    zbo2408 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I forgot to mention I did zoom in optical only no digital & threw everything else out of focus but just like the macro shot I had almost none of my yard in the shot that made it be all hibiscus....

    My goal was to basically have 1 flower & a tiny bit of the plant in the lower left 1/3 of the frame & the entire rest of the frame being my yard.... there seemed to be no way of doing this.

    If I set the focus manually how does the cameras sensors affect that? Not tryin to be sassy or anything just tryin to educate myself

    Thanks!
     
  4. Smith2688

    Smith2688 TPF Noob!

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    No, I didn't think you were trying to be sassy.

    Since the sensor is so small (I'm not sure of the technical specifics - those smarter than I could enlighten you better), the camera captures a lot more in focus than you might be used to with a 35mm camera. Therefore, while your camera at f/2.8 will capture the same amount of light as a 35mm camera at f/2.8 (given the same shutter speed) more will be in focus for the small sensor digital camera than the 35mm camera.

    Maybe you can try to imitate the effect in Photoshop.
     
  5. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Although you don't mention it, it sounds as if you shot in wide angle. That would also make everything sharp, front to back.
    So I would try the opposite: step back as much as possible, tripod and all, and shoot the scene again at considerable telephoto distance, again with largest aperture, thereby making the DoF as shallow as possible.
    See if that gets you a selective DoF.
     
  6. zbo2408

    zbo2408 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah thats basically what I was trying, this was one of my few successes.
    [​IMG]">[​IMG]
    But I think something was wrong with the ISO b/c of how mottled the background looks.

    Here's all the pics I took that day its not a whole lot, alot of this is experimentation teaching myself the different camera settings...
    http://s287.photobucket.com/albums/ll160/zman2408/Flowers/CSS/DoF/


    Let me know what you think!
     
  7. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    If you think the background is not enough out of focus, have you stepped back yet and used (much) longer tele, and the widest aperture you have to create the shallowest possible DoF?
    Plus lowest ISO setting and tripod, of course.
     
  8. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I see you are at f/8 on the shots. You might try using Aperture priority and, using it wide open. Just experiment with diffrent f-ratios and, see what will work for you. Experimentation is what makes it fun. ;)
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As mentioned, you are limited by your camera and the small sensor.

    Try getting as close as you can to the flower, you may need to use macro mode.
     

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