2023-07-25 Isolate with DOF

The photography challenge for the next two weeks is: “Isolate your subject with “Depth of Field” (DOF). We all have experimented with Aperture and Depth of Field to control what is sharp in your image. For landscapes you typically want everything sharp in your image. For close-ups you want to be more selective and blur backgrounds. The frustration is often how to get enough detail while blurring the background for maximum impact. Your choice of lens is important, wide angle lenses are sharp from near-by to infinity, while long lenses have much shallower depth of field. Another frustration is that a small aperture for more DOF affects your shutter speed or ISO settings. Luckily image noise due to high ISO settings can often be fixed in post processing. Paul mentioned that ISO 10,000 grain can be fixed quite well in the latest version of Photoshop.

Another technique to get around the aperture problem is to use a technique called “Focus Stacking”. For those of you who have Photoshop this allows you to take a series of images at slightly incremental longer focal lengths and then stacking them together. Modern cameras have this focus stacking feature built in. The camera will take a rapid series of images while advancing the focus on your lens slightly. Photoshop Elements has this feature as well, although it is a bit awkward to implement. Other post processing software packages might have this feature as well. If you don’t have this focus stacking feature on your camera, you can always advance the focus manually and the manually combine images in software.

Give it a try and post your images below. Please keep your submissions at or below 1600 pixels wide or 1050 pixels high.

22 Responses to 2023-07-25 Isolate with DOF

  1. Fred Schwering says:

    Orange Lily in my back yard. Taken with the portrait feature on my Pixel smart phone. Spot focus on the flowers. It takes the photo and applies blur afterwards. I did a little post processing in Photoshop Elements to blur some of the leaves which were still in focus and clone out a few distractions. I left the background dark.
    f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/11764 sec, fl 27 mm

  2. Henri says:

    Went out scouting the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens this morning. Found this beautiful hollyhock flower backlit in the morning sun. Taken with my 200 mm zoom against a distant field of mowed grass. I tried to get the whole flower sharp and closed the aperture to f/16

  3. Henri says:

    Same flower with bee

  4. della says:

    from reader rock garden
    ISO 560 300mm f5.61/4000

  5. della says:

    another one from the same day ISO 800 f5.6300mm 1/800

  6. Paul Fesko says:

    I am part of the photo crew for the Calgary Folk Music Festival and took this picture during one of my shifts. 1/125s, f1.2, ISO 5000. Edited in LR and Topaz DeNoise

  7. Ron says:

    Another butterfly on a flower. ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/500.

  8. Ron says:

    Ruffed Grouse. ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500. Both of the above photos taken while hiking west of Diamond Valley.

  9. Henri says:

    Dragonfly. Taken with my 70 – 200 mm Zoom at f/2.8 for shallow depth of field. Sharp body but wing tips a bit blurry. Would have been better at a slightly higher f stop.

  10. Fred Schwering says:

    I took this photo on our field trip to the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens. Thanks for organizing the field trip Henri. I think that the flower is a Rosy Cinquefoil.
    Taken with spot focus on the flower. Cropped tight in Photoshop.
    f/4.0, 1/1250 sec, ISO 100, fl 573 mm.

  11. Dwight says:

    We have a bed in the front of the house crappy ground and hot so a perfect place for lavender and thistles. We have an overabundance of pollinators bees and butterflies.
    For these two pictures, I went with aperture priority 3.5 iso 200 #1 1/2000 sec and #2 1/1000

  12. Frankie says:

    My daughter and I went to Spruce Meadows on Sunday to see the biggest outdoor dog show in Canada. This flamboyant woman was showing her rare Azawakh (I think).
    ISO 100, 150 mm, f/9, 1/400

  13. Frankie says:

    Same woman and dog
    ISO 100, 150 mm, f/7.1, 1/320

  14. Frankie says:

    ISO 100, 150 mm, f/7.1, 1/320

  15. Shannon says:

    Bowness Park – Flower – Iso 2000, 1/500 sec @ f/6.3, 100 mm. Some editing in LR – exposure, cropped, vibrance and saturation.

  16. Robert says:

    A Lily at Silversprings Botanical with Blurry Phlox in the background
    1/500 sec, f6.3, ISO 100 70-300mm telephoto

  17. Robert Scott says:

    Phlox at Silversprings Botanical with Blurry Phlox in the background
    1/1000 sec, f6.3, ISO 100 70-300mm telephoto

  18. tony campos says:

    f/6.3, 1/1250, iso250

  19. Beth says:

    Delphiniums leading to a single yellow flower barely visible in the background. Taken with my 50-230 mm lens at Silversprings Botanical Garden at f/6, 1/600 sec, ISO 250

  20. Beth says:

    Dragonfly on yellow flowers against a dark background. Taken with 50-230 mm lens at f/6.7, 1/200 sec, ISO 250

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