Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Double Takes with Rebecca: Depth of Field

When you take a photo, 
depth of field or DOF refers to 
how much of your photo appears in focus.
You control DOF by controlling how large your lens opens.
But first, make sure you know these terms:
Aperture -
 An aperture is a hole or an opening in your lens.
So when you click, it means how large the hole in your lens will open. 
F stops -
How large the hole opens is usually measured in stops
called F stops and will often be written like this: f/22

You CAN control how large the aperture (hole) in your lens opens.

Above are two examples explained below.

Part 1:  A small aperture/opening/hole gives a deep DOF.  
(As in the top daffodil photo.)

If you see a beautiful mountain view
and you want to capture the foreground scenery in focus too,
you might choose the auto option
on your camera marked for scenery.
(Below is a Canon, other cameras are similar.)

This will automatically set your camera
to make a smaller opening (aperture) when it clicks.
It works just like when you squint your eyes -
more of the scene will appear in focus.

That is pretty basic right?
So let's try to understand it
if you were to shoot in Manual (M) or Aperture (Av/A) mode.
Since you want a deep DOF
to capture that scenery
(Lots in focus)
you will want to set your camera to "Squint"
and you do that by choosing a smaller f stop/opening.

Part 2: A large aperture/opening/hole gives a shallow DOF. 
(As in the bottom daffodil photo.)

Let's say you want a photo
of your adorable son or daugher
but the background is busy and distracting.
In order to blur out that background 
you want a shallow DOF
so the focus is on your child
and not everything else.

You could choose the Portrait setting on your camera.

When you select the portrait setting 
the camera will automatically choose a larger opening/aperture/f stop
so that the background is softened/blurred.
If you were to switch to Manual or Aperture on your dial
you would choose a larger opening to reduce the amount of field
in focus.

Here is the easy....but confusing part.
Your F stop/aperture setting makes a SMALL opening when the F number is BIG
and a BIG opening when the F number is SMALL.
F 1.4 is a BIG opening
F 32 is a SMALL opening.

Once you can get your brain to remember that,
the rest is easy!

(PS Not all lenses can open up as much as others.
That depends on the lens you are using.
Larger openings are more expensive.)

Try this.....

If you are new to this
take you camera and set it up on a table or tripod.
Take 2 photos of a scene with objects placed
at varying distances from your camera
keeping the focus on the same point.
Take one photo with your portrait setting
and one with your scenery setting
and check out the difference
on your computer.

That is a quick and easy way to control your depth of field.

If your camera has the ability
and you 'get this'
you can take it a step further....

Set your camera up with a flower filling about half the frame,
focus on a point on the flower
but keep something else in the background.
(If you have a tripod this is a great time to use it.)

Set your camera on the Aperture setting (Av or A on the dial)
Chose the largest aperture/opening/f stop you can.
That means the smallest f stop/aperture number you can choose.
(Usually you will turn the dial to set the aperture,
and the f stop numbers will change as you turn the dial,
if not, you will need to check your camera's manual.)

Take a photo.
Move the setting one stop/one smaller opening/larger number.
Take a photo.
Move the setting one stop/one smaller opening/larger number.
Take a photo.
Move the setting one stop/one smaller opening/larger number.
Take a photo.
Keep doing this until there are no more stops.
Compare the photos on your computer.

Do you see how very little is in focus in the first photo?
As you move on, more of the flower is in focus
and eventually even the background is in focus.

You now have the ability to control 
the depth of field of your photos
for composition and creative purposes.

Below: A large aperture is great for bokeh:
(Shallow DOF)

Below: A small aperture is great for sun flares:
(Deep DOF)

Look for opportunities to choose 
a depth of field
to enhance your photos.

Improving composition
is the cheapest way to improve 
your photography.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Member Voice for First FMTSO Scavenger Hunt! ~ Round - Square - Triangular ~

Our first FMTSO Scavenger Hunt for April 8th! When I posted this topic and asked for suggestions there was a lot of feedback. That is great! Monica made a suggestion for the guide lines that if you can find all three hunt words in one photo, add that as a fourth photo of the hunt. I think we should also expand the hunt area to include not just your town, but surrounding areas and the surrounding countryside.  

if you check the little building you can see Round - Square - Triangular. taken by Doreen at DeVos Place, Home and Garden Show. 

Monica was first to respond, so here is her member voice for Round - Square - Triangular. (with added guide lines)
Time for the first Friday My Town Scavenger Hunt!

Guide Lines:
* straight out of the camera, no editing
* one photo per word
* three words for each hunt
* add a fourth photo if you can find all three hunt words in one (or just post this one photo)
* hunt area includes your town, surrounding areas, surrounding countryside

The first theme that popped into my head when Doreen asked for suggestions was a series of different shapes: round, square, triangular. Ooops. It got chosen, and now I have to explain myself! I think architecture was at the top of my mind when I suggested it. Whole buildings, or perhaps just details like windows, doors, roofs, gables... These shapes are typical of man-made things, aren't they? But if you can find them in nature... All the more interesting! Just take the camera for a walk in your neighbourhood and see what you can find.

Besides the "one photo per word"... If you happen to see it... Please feel free to also add a fourth picture including all three shapes. ;)

Monica a.k.a DawnTreader (Sweden)

(I know, I said I would post this tomorrow but I noticed Double Takes with Rebecca is scheduled) :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spotlight Photos - Yellow!

Last Friday's theme - yellow in your town - did exactly what I thought it would. Everyone's bright and cheery posts for sure lifted moods and left us with a warm fuzzy feeling. The drabness of Winter is washed away with the brightness of the hues of yellow.  Feelings of Springtime are sprouting!!





 Sue CTG



Awesome job everyone!!

 There will be a member voice for our first FMTSO Scavenger Hunt on Wednesday this week. The hunt is scheduled for April 8th. This Friday........ April 1st, is your choice from our assignment history page. April Fool's Day!! 

Also be sure to check out our latest interviewee of "In The Limelight". 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Member Voice for April 1 - Ha Ha Ha Ha !!

 Next Friday is April 1st....... already!! April 1 2011 - April Fool's Day. The theme is ........, HaHa! There is no assigned theme. Your choice of "favorite of all time" from our Assignment History Page. I just checked our Assignment History Page and we have 108 past themes for FMTSO. Now you can go count and check me because I did go through it rather quickly. But that is a lot to choose from, as was mentioned above, choose your favorite of all time from our assignment history list. Or combine two of your favorite themes together. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

Spotlight Photos - St. Patrick's Day or Show Your Green! and Member Voice for the color Yellow

As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point in the wrong direction!

May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

I just love the many Irish blessings and sayings. They are so clever and some so cute! Last Friday our theme was what your town does for St. Patrick's Day, or if that didn't work for you, show us your Green. Everyone had such great photos, once again, it was really hard for me to narrow it down to five. Here they are in no particular order.

Camella's Irish meal

 Ann's Clover

 Cheri's green eyed kitties

 Mark having fun with his green hat on!!

 J9's dancers in action

And I just noticed that I didn't do a member voice for this weeks theme. (March 25) Very simple though ......... the color yellow. Many of us have just come out of a long hard cold winter and are longing for Spring. The smells, colors and sounds of Spring. Yellow should brighten up everyone's moods. Show us the vibrant yellows of your town. Birds, butter, lemons! All the varying shades and hues of yellow. 


Thursday, March 17, 2011

In The Limelight

Our In The Limelight interview is with Jama. You can visit her at Sweet Memories.


When did the photo bug bite you?

It was in the year of 2001 when I got my first digital camera. I was always interested in photography since in my teens but developing photos was quiet expensive for a teen with limited budget, so most photos are usually of friends and family. With digital camera I was able to capture all things beauty, well, at least in my eyes, and not burn a big hole in my pockets as most photos are not developed but stored in my hard disk.

What was your first camera and what do you use now?

My first film camera was a Kodak,can’t remember it’s model .The first digital camera was just a cheap camera from the brand Orite, it happen to be on offer and the darling husband offered to buy it for me. It was a big mistake, as after experimenting with it for a year, I wanted a better camera. From Orite I upgraded to another point and shoot from Casio, Sony and eventually a prosumer camera Canon S5.All photos I shared in my blog were taken with Canon S5. I just purchased a DSLR Pentax Kr a few weeks ago and still experimenting with it.

What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Nature and flowers...I try to bring out the beauty in life through photography.

What aspect of your photography are you working on? Trying to improve?

I’m a very much beginner in the world of DSLR, (digital Single Lens Reflex) still got a lot of learning to do, especially with my new camera.


Blogging since ……

I’ve been blogging since 2004, but it was a photo blog which I still upload occasionally

What does blogging mean to you now?

Blogging is  great way to connect with people and share photos…, at the same time learning from each other.

Do you have a favorite time of the day to write posts?

In the afternoon, usually after all household chores are done.

What are you favorite places to visit on the web that aren’t blogs?

There’s an online parenting forum that I’ve been visiting since it was launch in the year 2000. Most members were from the same country, and we had regular meet ups. Quiet a number of the members are now my good friend sharing the same interest in Photography. I also love to see others photos for inspirations.


Which adjectives best describe you?

Quiet, reserved, shy…..that’s best described me! That’s why this is just a short interview from me since I can be an introvert at times.

What are your basic stats that you would like to share?

I’m 53 and a mother of 2 young men aged 30 and 23.

Thank you so much for your interview Jama!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spotlight Photos - CHAOS!!

I was totally lost on this one but you all did a bang up job!! It is good to be challenged from time to time. I did notice the ones that post their link later are not getting as many visitors from fellow shooters. Always try to check Mr. Linky later in the weekend, if you have time, and visit the late comers. FMTSO has become like an extended family and we all need to support each other. We also are having a few new shooters joining in our fun. Welcome to you newbies and if you would like your name and link added to our member list on the sidebar, send me an email, Doreen, with how you would like your name to appear and the url for the blog. Thank you!!

 On with the chaos......... 


Jan Halvard

Sandra, Miss Madsnapper

Sue, CTG. very pretty chaos!

Our theme for March 18th is how your town celebrates St. Patrick's Day or if that is not for you, show us your green!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Member Voice for March 18th - St. Patrick's Day!

The theme for March 18th is St. Patrick's Day! St Patricks Day is a time for Parades, Parties, Events. It is also a time of fun. Just for fun, here are a few Irish Blessings or Sayings.
St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.  ~Adrienne Cook

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way -
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
~Author Unknown

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

May you be in
Heaven a half hour before the
Devil knows you're dead!

Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.

 Here is a link for St. Patrick's Day Around the World!   

Show us how you or your town celebrates St. Patrick's Day. Or if this is not for you......... show us your GREEN!! 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spotlight Photos - The Letter S - March 4

I had many favorites from this shoot out so it was hard for me to narrow it down to just five. But I did my best. Here they are in no particular order:

Sandra's squirrel  

 Ann's scour

Gigi Shrimp Boat

Nicolle spiral

Sara's St David Day Parade

Fantastic posts from everyone! This week our theme is CHAOS!! I can't wait to see how shooters show us chaos in their towns.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Member Voice for March 11 - Chaos!!

 Our theme for March 11 is - Chaos! A condition or place of great disorder or confusion.A disorderly mass; a jumble. An abyss; a chasm.

Abyss - 

A bottomless or unfathomed depth, gulf, or chasm; hence, any deep, immeasurable, and, specifically, hell, or the bottomless pit. 
the bottomless gulf, pit, or chaos of the old cosmogonies 
an immeasurably deep gulf or great space
intellectual or moral depths

a very deep or unfathomable gorge or chasm
anything that appears to be endless or immeasurably deep, such as time, despair, or shame 
Jumble -  
To mix in a confused way; throw together carelessly
To muddle; confuse
To be mixed in a confused way
Chaos - 
a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.
disarray, jumble, turmoil, tumult
 I think you get the idea.......... 


(good luck with this one...... I am stumped!)