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.