Saturday, 12 September 2009

PROJECT 2 : going off the rails

Well I seem to have hit a bit of a speed bump in my photography at the moment. The more images I'm looking at, the more overwhelmed I'm feeling right now. However and in the meantime I'm continuing with the projects. This project addresses the depth of field using manual focus. My wide-angle lens is very good at keeping everything in focus, so I used my 50mm prime lens which is great at throwing the background out of focus. The shutter speed, aperture and iso were kept all the same on all three images. The only change I made was by manually changing the focus from the foreground to the background. The three images were taken at Maryport promenade.

All three images are very similar yet subtley different. The first and second are very similar at first glance, but looking closely the focus point is on different posts. The chart below highlights where the focus point on each image is. The lens I used required very small manual changes to the focal ring making it really difficult to demonstrate different areas of focus before the whole picture went out of focus.

This is my favourite of three and it took me a little while to understand why. The vast majority of the image is actually out of focus and the focal point - a rather non-descript railing and post is not actually that interesting either. However, I like the line of the railings and how they draw you in to the image from left to right. The end point of the railings is unknown. The fact that it is also out of focus for me adds a bit of intrigue and interest in an otherwise fairly mundane shot.

The second image reveals a little more of the image. The background is a little less 'fuzzy' and the spectacles are easing you in to the image. However, for me this shot is neither focussing on anything in particular or revealing either. It does neither as well as the other two shots at presenting the foreground or the background.

The third image should be the image that offers the most. More of the image is in focus. You can finally place the railings and see the environment in which they are placed. There is more to look at and in this image the railings are no longer the focal point. They are still a major part of the image but in my mind they are now competing with the surrounding environment. The railings are now an irritant in that they are an obstruction on the rest of the view and surrounding enviroment.
Before carrying out this course, I had a relatively good understanding of the effect on changing the aperture and use of shallow depth of field. However, I am surprised by having worked through this exercise how so many different stories can be told by evidently the same scene. By the very simple change of focus can change the entire emphasis of the image. Definitely worthwhile doing!!

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