Friday, 1 October 2010

A way of seeing: Project - Focus

Exercise - Focus with a set aperture

The aim is to consider the effect of focusing on different parts of the same scene.
Plan: I am planning to set up a line of Russian dolls at an acute angle for this exercise.  I will take a series of shots focusing further and further down the line.

Results and reality:

The Russian dolls have turned into Swedish vodka (minatures - honest)!  I decided that keeping the objects the same size would allow me to concentrate on the task at hand rather than worrying about perspective.  For these shots I created a mini studio using a white board and some white card.  All shots were taken at 80mm, F5.6, 1/60sec and ISO200 with the camera mounted on a tripod.

Focus on the middle bottle:

Focus on the far bottle:

Focus on the front bottle:

Learning points: 

I prefer the image with the focus on the front bottle.  The sharp front object catches the eye and draws you into the picture.  It looks deliberate and gives the image a sense of purpose that the others don't have.  That said, my second choice is the image with the focus at the back as this also looks deliberate and retains some sense of purpose whereas the middle focus doesn't catch the eye at all.  Having sharp focus on a small area directs your interest; if all the bottles were in focus I think the image would less interesting still.

I think in general it is the main focal point of the image that needs to be sharp and not necessarily the object at the forefront.  I have taken similar landscape shots where the foreground is in focus and the landscape is thrown out of focus and vice versa.  Both images appeal but for different reasons.  I'll post them when I find them!

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