Shallow DOF - How not to do it!

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knickerhawk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,334
Shallow DOF - How not to do it!
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I realize I'm mostly preaching to the choir in this particular forum, but I just have to register my surprise and disappointment in a number of the shots posted in the gallery of Panasonic S1R shots taken by the pro, Max Lowe, and recently featured here on DPReview.

Here's the article link: https://www.dpreview.com/videos/2985429919/video-max-lowe-takes-the-panasonic-lumix-dc-s1r-to-hawaii

A number of the portraits in the gallery associated with the article were taken wide open with the Lumix 50mm f/1.4 prime. Check out the gallery and ask yourself: Why? What's the reason to shoot each of these shots wide open? Is there a valid exposure benefit? With one exception, I'd say the answer is a resounding, "No". Is the increased background blur obtained from the extreme shallow DOF worth the less than optimal sharpness of the in-focus plane? On most of them, I'd again say, "No." Are all those extra pixels (relative to any mFT camera currently on the market) fully leveraged? Again, I'd say, "No."

Perhaps the most baffling example is this particular image:

Image by Max Lowe as posted in the DPR photo gallery of his sponsored trip to Hawaii

https://4.img-dpreview.com/files/p/sample_galleries/4002390384/2340494446.jpg

The only portions of this image that are in-focus are some of her bathing suit top, a bit of her shoulder, two areas along the brim of her hat and the front tip/side of her sunglasses. The high key effect has virtually eliminated all background, so any point of blurring it is lost. What's the point here? How does this show off the photographer's skill or the benefits of this camera/lens?

Personally, the more S1R sample images I see, the less GAS I have...

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