Probably a dumb question - Focus

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by righteous_bucks, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. righteous_bucks

    righteous_bucks TPF Noob!

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    So I'm ordering my first slr camera tomorrow, and have been looking around at everyones pictures to get some inspiration. Anyway, I love the macro pictures, so I researched how to take them. I understand how to get the background blurred and all now, my question though is how do you select what you want in focus in these pictures? Like in this picture:

    http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/soncheeboon/grasshopper1.jpg

    how did they get it to focus in on the grasshoppers face, instead of the focus going to anything else? Please remember I haven't gotten my camera yet, so I don't have it to experiment with, so that's why I'm asking here! Sorry if this is a dumb question. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  2. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    1. Place the AF (auto focus) point in the viewscreen where you want the focus to be. If you put it on the face, that's where it will focus.

    or

    2. Turn the focus ring on the lens with your thumb and finger till it's focused where you want it.

    Note: Images that you didn't personally shoot are not allowed to be posted here. Link to them instead. ;)
     
  3. righteous_bucks

    righteous_bucks TPF Noob!

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    Ok thank you :) and sorry about the picture, I didn't know! :guilty:
     
  4. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    You're talking about depth of field. It's dependent on a relationship between four items: Distance from the lens to the subject, distance from the subject to the background, aperture on the lens and the length of the lens. The larger the aperture the shorter the DoF. The closer you are to your subject, the shorter the DoF.

    For example a 2.8 105mm macro lens as close as it will focus will give a razor thin DoF at 2.8.

    I don't feel like quoting from the book, so I'll just recommend you read Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure.

    EDIT: If you want to see a cool visual of this effect, follow this link and scroll to the bottom. Above the photo of the ruler, there are different f/stops listed. Mouse-over them and watch the image change.
     
  5. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    With macro photography you usually focus manually instead of using auto-focus. And if the camera you're using has Live View you can use that to focus with.
    Which camera are you getting?
     
  6. righteous_bucks

    righteous_bucks TPF Noob!

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  7. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Smart guy! I wish I picked that camera :( instead I got the 450D, It is a good camera and all but rubbish ISO Cappabilities
    hoping to pick one up sometime in the near future (doing driving lessons first)

    you will understand when you get the camera, Honestly it is so simple you will slap yourself!!!

    Well... if you have a razor thin DOF E.g. a 180mm Macro lens set to f3.5 (which might be too low tbh,)
     
  8. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    I believe with this one I actually used AF. Obviously you need a tripod to get the steady shot.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Stormchase

    Stormchase No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    AAK where is his back leg??
    poor little guy :(
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lunch?
     
  11. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    There's a few things you really need to get to shoot good macros.

    1st a good macro lens with 1:1 mag. You can get by without a true macro and 1:2 but you won't be able to get as full a picture with something as small as the grasshopper you posted.

    2nd a good flash. Not a requirement, but it can really help when you are shooting in the f/11 and smaller range (which you will want to do to get enough DOF).

    3rd a good tripod or monopod. Not a requirement either but definitely helpful. If you are shooting bugs, you will probably not have time for this though and will have to work on your handholding technique. If you are using a flash, handholding is a little easier in my opinon.

    You might also want to consider getting something to fire your flash wirelessly as off camera flash can make for some nice dramatic lighting.
     
  12. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It seems like a lot of the big macro guys on the forums use a little mini strobe softbox for their macro stuff, with stunning results. I believe they handhold everything as well.

    And for the OP, if you like the look of a thin DOF, look into a 50mm f1.8 prime as well. It's a $100 lens and is an excellent way to start playing with limited DOF.

    Here's a couple things you can do with limited DOF at different focal lengths (excuse the utter lack of editing, from my facebook page, lol):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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