RATE the DOF (14 RC pics)

Started Feb 5, 2006 | Discussions thread
MMuddler Veteran Member • Posts: 4,527
You already probably know this but...

You have competing interests..... getting the subject sharp and making the background soft and fuzzy so the subject stands out. Of course, defining what is background and what is important context is an artist's decision.

Someone already pointed out DOF is only one way of getting isolation.... panning and blurring the background is a super addition to your toolkit because it also impacts motion.

Insuring sharp subject by increasing DOF / shutter speed means compromising on that other aspect of image quality. Some of us pay BIG bucks for f2.8 tele primes and zooms, and it's not just because we shoot at dusk or indoors.

Your camera's ability to resolve proper focus quickly is just a critical as lens focus speed or DOF chosen by the photographer. Subjects approaching or receding quickly or erratically are tough. Added DOF is insurance but it has its costs. Bokeh quality is largely of tertiary importance .

If your subject is moving across the screen rather than approaching/receding, then panning is possible to get separation and you can crank up the DOF ( smaller f stop) to get your cake and eat it too. Slow shutter and smaller f stop work together nicely.

And lastly, when you have the luxury of choosing how far away you are from the subject, you can increase your subject/background separation via DOF and panning blur simply by getting closer. And don't forget that backing off to an extreme distance also gives you a chance to use a long long lens and get image compression.... that can produce a different type of isolation from background noise... or when you want the sharp background it gives an interesting juxtaposition of subject and background.

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Marabou Muddler

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