- How to Use Depth of Field
- Water Droplet Photography Tips
- How to Set Up a Remote DSLR for Professional Basketball Photography (Video)
Posted: 18 Jun 2014 08:04 PM PDT
Final Reminder: Only 1 day left! in the deal on: Understanding Post-Processing
What do we mean by depth of field? The term refers to the amount of detail in the photograph that is in focus. A typical landscape photograph will will show detail over a long distance, all of which will be in focus and recognizable by the viewer.
A head and shoulders portrait will usually work best if only the face is in sharp focus. Often the background will be blurred and out of focus in order to remove any distractions.
Two questions usually pop up here:
O.K., first things first. Why would you want a blurred background?
Being able to produce this effect at will is very handy and can turn a mediocre or boring photograph into something much more attractive. The landscape photograph mentioned above doesn’t really have a focal point. You’re not really sure of exactly what the photographer was aiming at when he took it. This works with a typical calendar landscape shot as it will be trying to present a broad, sweeping view.
The portrait example is very different. It’s obvious immediately what the main subject is because it is separated from the background clutter. The main subject is the only thing you can focus on, so your eye is drawn straight to it. If you’re taking a shot from a long distance it is possible to isolate the subject both from the foreground and the background using this technique known as depth of field.
What we want to do is focus on the main subject in the scene. The area that remains in focus is the ‘field’ in the term ‘depth of field’. The ‘depth’ bit is the distance of the in-focus area measured from front to back.
This can all be manipulated by the photographer to suit the particular image. The landscape and the portrait mentioned above are two extremes but there are many subjects that fall between the two.
How do we achieve this effect?
There are two things you have control over that affect depth of field when using an SLR camera.
I’ll go into more detail about these two settings in another article, but put simply the focal length of a lens is the feature you are changing when moving a zoom lens within its zoom range. The aperture refers to the hole the light passes through when the shutter opens. This is changed by moving the aperture ring, which is the nearest one to the camera body, and is measured in units known as f-stops. When changing aperture settings you need to keep an eye on the shutter speed. Look through your camera’s auto modes and set it on one which will allow you to change the aperture settings, but will automatically set the shutter speed for you. This is often referred to as ‘aperture priority mode’.
The most important item to control is the aperture setting. The larger the aperture used, the smaller the depth of field range.
Free Depth of Field Calculator
At one time, lens manufacturers used to include depth of field guide marks on their lenses, but no longer do so. If you would like a handy little replacement for these marks, something that will let you quickly and easily gauge the effects of different focal lengths and aperture settings, there are a number of free utilities available on the web. A quick search via your favorite search engine will turn up a number of them.
Practice makes perfect
You need to familiarize yourself with how this technique works and how it affects your photographs. Remember that, with a digital camera there is no expense involved in shooting practice photographs. You get the results straightaway and you don’t have to pay for developing any film, so there is no excuse for not practicing.
You can even practice indoors if the weather’s poor. Standing a couple of items on your kitchen table and shooting them from a few feet away will soon give you an idea of how this works.
A good way to develop your feel for the depth of field effect, as well as any other techniques you may wish to brush up on, is to use a technique known as ‘bracketing’ your exposures. Put simply, this just means taking a number of photographs with different camera settings so that you can compare the results.
You can now load the photos onto your computer and compare the results. You should now have a good idea about how varying the aperture affects the resulting depth of field.
Go through this exercise again varying the focal length of your zoom lens if your camera has one. You will soon get to grips with the technique so try it out on a larger scale and notice the difference it makes to your work.
About the Author:
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Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:35 PM PDT
Do you love taking pictures? If so, this is a new and exciting way to take awesome photos that will have your friends and family talking! The best part is that you can do this at any time of year or time of day, and you don’t have to leave your home to do it. I will show you how to photograph water droplets for some downright amazing images!
Start by mounting your camera on a tripod in front of your setup.
Using your viewfinder, make sure you background color is reflecting strongly off the water. Try using a piece of magazine as a target to get your camera ready for focus. I stick with using an aperture of f/4 to f/4.5 to make sure the depth of field is still keeping the drop sharp while blurring the background.
Make sure your setup is well-lit with flash units, then dim the room lights.
Set a fast shutter speed.
I have found that an eye dropper works best for making a drip. Squeeze out a drop, and start by manually flashing. Then continue till you achieve your desired result! Your hardest task is going to be timing!
Your best method is going to be trial and error. It does take some practice. After about a dozen shots, you will start getting in sync with your camera and your amazing pics will be proof!
Another method is to use a sound-activated or motion-detecting device that will automatically make your flash units trigger.
Creating your Shape
Have fun with this. There are several different ways you could go:
At about 120 degrees, water drops will reflect a given area. Your background doesn’t have to be huge since it is only going to be sitting about 3 inches behind the receptacle.
I hope you now have learned how to photograph water droplets and are well on your way to making stunning photos to show to your family and friends!
About the Author
Posted: 18 Jun 2014 07:13 PM PDT
From slam dunks to graceful tip-ins, shots taken from basketball’s action epicenter–the net–capture some of the most intense moments during a game. At the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Dallas, Texas, the stakes are high for players and sports photographers alike. Brett Whilhelm of Wilhelm Visual Works came up with an effective and safe backboard camera system to capture these exclusive shots:
Fastened to the backboard with redundant magic arms and safety cables (and a whole lot of tape) the cameras have the strength and security needed in the midst of action.
The camera, a Nikon D4s with a 17-35mm lens, gets set at 1/800 of a second at f/5. The ISO is set surprisingly high at 6,400, due to the fact that the added circular polarizing filter cuts the aperture f-stops by about two. Hardware is installed to trigger the shutter, instead of a radio transmitter, greatly reducing the chance of interference.
Regardless of the type of photography, composition is always important. During the games, one camera faces straight down at the basket while another is set with a wider composition to incorporate logos. The focus is set eight feet in front of the basket. This is most often the space where players' faces are when they're working their magic.
But in high pressure situations, there is nothing more important than having a juiced up battery. Wilhelm explains the setup:
The product of all these meticulous details is drool-worthy photographs on high demand. The images are live streamed back to a server, where editors busily edit and caption the photos to wire to national and international news agencies.
A lot of inspiration can be taken from Wilhelm’s technique to create personal backboard set ups. Listed below are a few tips for capturing your own backboard shots:
Go to full article: How to Set Up a Remote DSLR for Professional Basketball Photography (Video)
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