Focusing in a picture.

15bps

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So I do not get flamed like on other forums, yes I have a photo gallery on the internet. No I am not a photographer by trade. I do this as a hobby. Have been doing it about 2 months. I am here to learn more.

I am using a D-50 with a nikkor 70-300

I shoot sports photos if paintball tournaments. When shooting and trying to get shots with several players in one shot I get one or more of the players to end up blurry and out of focus.

Like this one.

DSC_0483.jpg







The bunkers in the foreground are also out of focus on this picture.

DSC_0080.jpg



I have read somewhere it is my lens and then I have read other places it a setting in the camera. Can someone help me?
 

mysteryscribe

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Not sure if you understand depth of field or not, so let me suggest you google it and read a few articles. That is your problem In a nutshell you have a double barrelled priority. You need a fast shutter speed for the action and a small aperture for the long depth of field and never the twain shall meet.

Prioritise, so you want everything in focus or action stopped. Movement in slow shutter speeds causes blur as well as short depth of field. It may be a damned if you do and damned if you dont kind scenario.

So what to do, experiment. You need at least a shutter speed of 250 if you are shooting a film camera and a sperture of about f8 at the very least and you will still have things in and out of focus but start about there and see what combination gives you the best results... Sorry there is no magic bullet.
 

idioteque

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I quite like the blur.. it has a sense of action about it! :) If you want the foreground to be in focus too, try using a smaller aperture like f22.
 

blooper

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the only problem with using a smaller aperature is that youd also have to keep your shutter open longer, which would be terrible for action shots, no?

its kinda hard to escape the blurring. you would have to really decide while youre shooting what you want to be your focal point. not everything has to be in focus all the time. if that was the case, the picture would look very flat and dimensionless. it will lack depth.

but if thats really what you want to go for, i would just go with a slightly smaller aperature and a higher ISO setting. this is going to compromise your shutter speed and picture grain. keep that in mind.
 

Digital Matt

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In addition to learning and understanding depth of field, some different compositions would help. In your second picture, the out of focus bunker is distracting, and would still be distracting if it were in focus, probably even more so. In the first picture, if the two guys were in the same plane of focus, they'd both be sharp. Move your position. In a sporting event, position is everything for the photographer.
 

LaFoto

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Sometimes the shift from blurred via focused to blurred-again parts in photos can create a sense of distance ... the depth of field suggests a kind of depth in a two-dimensional picture that cannot be created naturally. I find that that is the case in your first photo here. If all the actors were in focus, it would look quite flat (is what I think).

The lens you work with for these photos gives you "flatter" photos all by itself, since it is a long lens (70-300mm) and the longer it gets, the closer things with move together within your frame that were much farther apart in reality. Telephoto lenses do that. So sometimes it is the change of blurred parts and in-focus parts that bring some of the "lost" depth back.

Therefore depending on what you look for in your individual frame, this kind of moaned (by yourself) blurriness in the nearer parts might be the desired element in the end?
 
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15bps

15bps

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Ok, so I have read a good bit about field of depth in the last couple of days. From what I am getting so far that the F number and zoom on the lens gives you your feild od depth. The lower the number and higher the zoom the smaller the feild of depth.

A F/4 with a 300 zoom gives you about 8inches in front and 8inches behind the focal point that is in focus. If I want say 3 feet field of depth I need to go up to about a F/12 at around 280 on my lens to get that.

The biggest issue I am having now is like with this picture here. His hand is blurred in front of him. It is all starting to come together now.

DSC_0095.jpg
 

spiky_simon

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15bps said:
The biggest issue I am having now is like with this picture here. His hand is blurred in front of him. It is all starting to come together now.

I really wouldn't worry to much about the hand being out of focus in this image. The interesting part of the image is his face, which is in focus.
 

xfloggingkylex

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another way around this problem is to increase your ISO sensitivity, that will allow you to keep some speed with a smaller aperture, but you really need to experiment with that first to see what is too noisy for you.

also I dont see any problems with your 2 large pictures that you have posted, both of them have slight blur but the objects are still easily recognizable (second player being shot, and hand respectively). Actually I think it would look odd to see everything in focus. The blur adds a dynamic feel giving the picture a sense of action, without that it poses a threat of looking posed.

if you want a little more in focus shoot at f/8 or so, or use disposible cameras (they do a great job keeping things in focus with a decently fast shutter speed).

oh and the reflection of the course in the guys mask is insane looking, great work.
 

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