Archive for the ‘Depth of field’ Tag

Boston candid portraits   Leave a comment

I’ve spent weekend with my family in Boston. Boston is nice city with very good food. I made only few meaningful shots but I’ve got three very different portraits.

Shallow depth of field with foreground “framing” makes this composition.

I like dramatic movement with the blur that is, probably, from slight out of focus. Actually, I have another one that is very sharp but it looks static for me.

Absolutely calm portrait in the darkish restaurant setting. It is sharp across the frame.

Focus in candid street photography   4 comments

If you are interested in the street photography you already know basic techniques of focusing

  • Hyperfocal distance
  • Zone focusing
  • Autofocus

There is no reason for me to explain concepts of Depth of Field (DOF) and hyperfocal distance in this topic. Internet and many books have plenty of useful information in any level of details.

When I use my Point&Shoot camera (Canon S90) most of the time there is no need to be concerned about focusing.  This camera has such deep DOF that only very special circumstances make me think about changing my focus settings. Effectively, Point&Shoot always has hyperfocal distance or very close to it.

I don’t use hyperfocal distance with my DSLR camera unless my composition demands focus to infinity. Control of DOF with  selective focusing is the basic method in the photography to direct viewer attention. As another big bonus, large aperture allows using fast shutter.

I use combination of zone focusing and autofocus. Before I make the shot, camera is always prefocused for predicted distance.  If I decide to use viewfinder there is always option to use autofocus (with separate AF button). Modern lenses with quick shift make this mode of operation very convenient. My older favorites don’t have quick shift so I prefocus them pointing to some boring object. To use autofocus photographer has to understand its intricacies and limitations.  Don’t focus by pointing to the smooth wall and, probably, forget about autofocus when it is dark or other special conditions.  Many photographic sights are the great source of information about autofocus.

Don’t settle on one-fits-all rule. Find your own style to take your best pictures.

Related topics

Candid street photography in Morocco with Pentax K-5 and 21mm f/3.2

Pentax 70 mm f/2.4 DA Limited for Candid Street Photography

Pentax 14mm f/2.8 for Candid Street Photography

Canon S90 for Candid Street Photography

Why is the candid photography unique?

Canon S90 for Candid Street Photography   5 comments

I have an advanced compact (aka Point-and-Shoot) camera for one specific reason – I can easily keep it in my pocket. These amazingly small devices produce good image quality, if you don’t have very high expectations. I only use the RAW file format for flexibility in post processing.

My settings are all manual. It is easy to set the exposure using a live histogram. Just remember to point at the potential scene with the largest contrast. The Depth of Field (DOF) is so large that changing distance (using manual focus) is required only in very special cases.

I use a ring around the lens for changing focal length. Focal length is almost always in its widest range (28-35mm). I don’t use LCD for framing. I hold it with the LCD faced to my palm and I use my thumb to trigger.

I can have it during my walk for a lunch.

There is no danger in forgetting your camera in the restaurant after a good bottle of wine.

Pentax 70 mm f/2.4 DA Limited for Candid Street Photography   Leave a comment

After work one day, I had about 3 hours to myself.  I decided to kill the time shooting with a 70 mm f/2.4 using a wide open aperture.

Considering its reach, this is an amazingly small lens. With 70mm I can always use the viewfinder and there is no reason to think about shooting from the hip.

The depth of field (DOF) of f/2.4 is shallow and my only goal is to focus on the object. This is a liberating experience. The challenge is to focus on the moving target, so don’t think about what else you want to be sharp.

For more pictures go to Shooting with Pentax 70 mm 2.4 wide open only

Related topics

Rules and Myths of Candid Photography: Wide angle or telephoto lenses