Selective Focus

 

iron fence

Selective Focus allows you to make a subject stand out from the background or elements around it. When you press the shutter part way the camera focuses on a point a certain distance away. This depends on where you are focusing and how far away the subject is. This plane of focus is parallel to the plane of the sensor.

If you want the subject to stand out you need to set a low aperture to decrease the depth of field. So f 2.8 has a shallower depth of field than f 8, f16 or anything higher. Depth of field is how far in front of and behind the plane of focus that will be rendered sharp in the image. So if you want the subject to stand out you need a shallow depth of field or low f stop.

One final consideration is how far from the subject you are. The closer you get to the subject the easier it is to decrease the depth of field. So being inches from the subject as opposed to feet or being 5 feet as opposed to 10 feet away, will help decrease the depth of field.wine bottles

The example of the iron fence has the focus on the center fence spike with an f stop of 3.2 and I’m relatively close to the subject about 1 foot away.

The next image has the focus on the first wine bottle with f stop of 2.8. This makes it stand out from the others behind it.

The final example uses selective focus to highlight the grapes and then lets the grape picker go blurry but still be recognizable. To achieve this effect I am inches away from the grapes but need a higher f stop of 11 to render enough detail in the background.

grapes

 

Get the Right Colors!

Color Calibration between the monitor and prints has long been a thorn in the side of the photographer. When I first got involved with printing my own images on my Epson almost 10 years ago, nobody knew much of anything. There was one guy in the UK that shed some light on the subject, but there were few tools.

Well we’ve come a long way since then! Now it’s so easy to calibrate your monitor and printer. I recently got a Dell U2410 monitor. Dell says it’s color calibrated for sRGB and Adobe RGB from the factory. And boy did it look good when I plugged it in. Too good actually. Images that I had previously developed looked garish, bright and oversaturated. They were fine when printed. Hmmm a mismatch here.

So I got a Spyder4 from Datacolor the mid level Pro version. And boy was it easy to use. A huge improvement over their previous products. It measures the ambient light, the interface is simple – none of the adjusting brightness to make the logo disappear into the black – you know what I’m talking about if you’ve used older products.

And the results were spot on. Images perfectly matched from screen to my Epson 7800. So if you’re printing and need a solution I highly recommend the Spyder 4!