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Why did it do that?

A forum to post any lighthouse pictures you'd like others to see. Feel free to talk about lighthouse photography. Lighthouse-related photos (such as LSS and lenses) are also welcome.

Postby beachbum1616 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:59 am


On Saturday, Christina, some friends and I went to the Carnivore Preservation Trust, http://www.cptigers.org/default.asp. While there, you know I was going to take some photos. Well, using my 300mm lens, most of my shots came out with the fence in it.

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I had one that came out great.

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This tiger was sitting near the back of the enclosure and I did have to zoom farther in to get a tighter shot.

Why did one come out almost perfect, with only a couple of spots where you can see the blurriness of the fence, and the rest of them came out showing the entire fence?
Stephen

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Postby Hersh » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:29 pm


Three words Stephen, depth of field.

As your zoom gets longer and aperture gets smaller, you can make close items disapear. In one of my evidence tech photography classes they actually used that as an exercise, to make a chain link fence disappear.
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Postby Rob143 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:49 pm


What Mike said.

The shots with the tiger close to the fence as in your first one will be essentially impossible to not see the fence. Your second shot, with the tiger further from the fence, is where you can make use of that shallow depth of field to "make fences disappear". Long fast glass can net you an extremely shallow depth of field. I actually shot a statue of General Warren (The Savior of Little Round Top) at Gettysburg recently with a 400mm wide open at 5.6. The depth of field was actually shallow enough that the arm/shoulder area was in focus, but the facial features were soft, and the only thing I've come up with is I actually need to try reshooting it stopped down a little bit.
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Postby Hersh » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:49 am


Yes, I forgot to mention that, as Rob said, you have to have your lens close to the fence to make it disappear like that.
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Postby beachbum1616 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:43 am


So what is the idiots definition of depth of field?
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Postby Hersh » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:43 pm


Basically it's the portion of the image that's in focus in front of and behind the thing you're focusing on. If you shoot a flower at macro with your lens inches from it, your depth of field might render the front of it in focus, but the back of it, only an inch behind, out of focus. Then if you shoot wide angle landscapes, you might have a half mile of area that's sharp as a tack.

Depth of field is controlled by focal length and aperture. The smaller the aperture (stopped down) and shorter the focal length (wider angle of zoom), the larger the depth of field. The larger the aperture (wide open) and longer the focal length (long zoom), the smaller the depth of field.
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Postby AL » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:26 pm


Are you sure :?: It sounds backwards to me 8O
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Postby Rob143 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:53 pm


AL wrote:Are you sure :?: It sounds backwards to me 8O


Nah, Mike got it right.

What's the real shame is that most lenses today don't have a depth of field scale on the lens barrel. Most, if not all, of my old manual focus Canon FD lenses do have a depth of field scale on them. It is easier to understand, and utilize to your benefit, if you have some clue what you're dealing with in terms of DOF at various apertures and focus distances. If you want everything in your shot from 40' (object in the foreground for the sake of argument) to 60' (main subject) in focus, but nothing in the background in focus, you may want to focus at some distance between 40' and 60'. That's where the old DOF scale came in. You found 40', and 60', as focus distances on the barrel...and found what aperture they lined up with...shot at that aperture...with your focus set accordingly. You were "focused" on some point in between, but the objects at relevant distances were all in focus. I know, that's not the idiots definition.
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Postby AL » Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:15 pm


For a larger DOF you step down the aperature (larger number) f/11 will give a greater DOF then f/2.8.

Sorry I read it wrong :oops:
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Postby Hersh » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:33 pm


I never used a lens with a DOF scale, so I'd be lost trying to shoot that way.
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Postby Biggy » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:48 pm


Sometimes, the depth of field concept is hard to understand. But, I've always found it actually becomes sort of trainable to your eye the more your experiment with such things. I figured out long ago how to eliminate a fence by shooting closer to it with a longer lens. The closer you are to a fence with that longer lens, the best chance you have of keeping it out of your shot. It sometimes comes in handy when I shoot outdoor sporting events for the newspaper, like shooting a pitcher from behind a backstop. Sometimes, experimentation will teach you a lot, if you can remember what you did to cause a certain thing.
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Postby beachbum1616 » Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:46 am


Thanks for the help on this one guys!
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Postby epona » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:57 am


Biggy - Said something that I think is important. Some people take certain activities and just do them. How can I can this we all have abilities that we can just do. If we had to break how we do what we do some of us could not. It is like the chief how does not have to measure anything or use a recipe.

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Postby ericlighthouse » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:14 pm


Interesting. Also my wife would love the picture.
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Postby Rob143 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:31 pm


beachbum1616 wrote:On Saturday, Christina, some friends and I went to the Carnivore Preservation Trust, http://www.cptigers.org/default.asp.


I just took a look at their website. Thank you for providing it. It seems they have 9 tigers, including one white tiger named Jellybean http://www.cptigers.org/animals/animal.asp?animalID=39&speciesID=9. White tigers are my favorite animal on the face of this planet. They used to have one at the National Zoo in DC, but that's been years ago now. There are very few of those guys out there. It appears that it would put me a total of 50-60 miles out of my way coming down 95 to stop by there my next trip south. 50 miles is a walk in the park. I'll have to keep this in mind and fit it into my next trip to NC.
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