Question: FOV and portraits

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JReesePhoto, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. JReesePhoto

    JReesePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, this is my first post here.

    Im wondering if someone can help me out. There is a look I want to achieve in portraits, where the eyes are in focus and the rest of the face or most of it is out of focus. I want it to be dramatic like in this picture:
    http://blog.thebecker.com/images/content/jessica_claire_bridal_4.jpg

    Is this done through DOF or is it post process in photoshop? Thanks in advance for any help/insight you can give me

    -Jason:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    not a good idea having only eyes focused, soft focus filters, DOF or PP will all achieve similar results once you know what your doing, the shot posted has the face in focus, admittedly focus drops off at the lower end of her mug but the tog knew how far he needed to be for camera to subject and which f stop to use to achieve the look so its trial and error with the equipment you've got for similar results, PP would be my last option. H
     
  3. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    While it can be achieved in PS, this shot indicates it was done with DOF at time of shooting (and it's a lot less work to do it that way, and generally better results). I say that because the flat plane of focus perpendicular to the lens extends from her eyes up to part of her headpiece and down to the bottom where the flowers are closer to the lens.

    How to do it with DOF is generally to shoot wide open. A smaller f number gives a smaller depth of field. How much depends on how long the lens is, how far away it is from the subject and what the f stop used was.

    Unless the photog was standing on something, this appears to be about a 50mm lens opened up to about f/1.4, or in that general area.

    As for "not a good idea having only the eyes focused", that's an artistic choice and may be a very good idea when used to good advantage.
     
  4. JReesePhoto

    JReesePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Thank for your help guys. I think i will try to practice the effect with focus set to manual. I know you shouldnt try to make parts of the face out of focus, but thats what I love about photography, breaking rules can provide some unique photos =) Thx again!
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, it's fairly easy to do by controlling the DOF with your camera & lens, but you need the right equipment.

    For example, it would practically impossible to get a shot like that using a 'Point & Shoot' digital camera. 99% of them have tiny sensors, which make it hard to get such a shallow DOF.

    If you have a typical Digital SLR, it will be easier because of the larger sensor, but not as easy as if you had a 'full frame' DSLR camera (or medium format etc.).

    Besides a larger sensor, you'd need a 'fast' lens. That is a lens with a large maximum aperture. It might even require a prime (non-zoom) lens...something like a 50mm F1.4 or 85mm F1.4 etc.
     
  6. JReesePhoto

    JReesePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks BigMike,

    I have a D5000 and I'm going to try it with my 35mm 1.8 nikkor. I understand DOF I just didn't realize it could be used so dramatically in a situation like this. Previously I figured the distance from ones eyes to their chin would not be enough space. Thanks for making me further understand, I think I will need a D700 or another full framed body to get the effect I'm looking for.

    -Jason
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    There are other factors as well. For example, the focal length and the distance to the subject.

    A longer lens gives you less DOF, and being closer to your subject gives you less DOF.

    So it's not strictly necessary to get a D700 to get a DOF that thin, it just makes it easier.
     
  8. photosbykacy

    photosbykacy TPF Noob!

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    I don't use a full frame sensor and I still can get this result with my 50mm 1.8 lens. Just get your aperture to the lowest that it can go and get really close. As far as photo shop goes, it just doesn't look as good. However, if you still want to try it, just create another layer, then add a gaussian blur until it looks as blurry as you'd like. Then you can either erase back the parts you want in focus or use the history brush tool to erase back what you want. You can also create a mask on the layer and use a black paint brush to bring back focus to some areas. Hope this helps!
     
  9. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    For a more convincing PS job, use Lens Blur and a gradient mask. Here's a tutorial that explains it:

    Adobe - tutorial : Add depth of field with Lens Blur

    The gradient mask to make for an image like this would be more complex, because of the focal plane I mentioned earlier, but it can be done.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Find a yard stick and shoot it at an angle so you can read the numbers as they go away. Try different apertures smallest to largest to see the difference. Then take a step back and do the same. Then two steps, then three and so on.

    You could also read this.. Depth of field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  11. JReesePhoto

    JReesePhoto TPF Noob!

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    You all are amazing, Im getting good results with my 35mm. Thanks for taking your time to help me! I really appreciate it =)
     

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