Exercise 2.5- Focusing and Depth of Field

The aim of this exercise was to find a subject that was in front of a background with depth and use the focus to show depth of field. A minimum of two shots were required the first shot required -focusing on foreground , the second shot required focusing on background, same focal length was required for both shots.

A prime example was given in the course work folder which was the use of railings with a background.

I chose to use this same idea and go exploring for images of foreground and background subjects in focus which can display that using both focusing techniques can be valuable to produce worthy images.

These images where taken in Garhoud/Oud Metha Area near Creek Park.  U.A.E flags are hanging everywhere due to the upcoming 43rd National Day celebrations. The first pair of images are from Garhoud Bridge toward a construction site which is building a new hotel on the creek.

In this shot the railings are in focus but the flag on the building behind is not. The flag can still be made out and it is obvious to the eye what it is. My eye is immediately drawn to the colours, red and green of the flag as it is a point within the frame and a meaningful part of the shot. The railings are grey like the background buildings but they are more reflective and stand out from the background with sharpness as the morning light is cast on them.

foreground in focus Camera settings – F4.5,fl 74mm, 1/160sec, ISO 100

In this shot the background is in focus and we can see the detailing of the building which the flag is hung on.

background in focus. Camera settings- F4.5, fl 74mm, 1/125sec, ISO 100

Between the pair of these images, I prefer the first one, where the railings are in sharp focus and the flag is softly blurred in the background. The flag is still there and still attractive due to the red and contrast with the grey but the railings play a part in the image whilst in the second image it feels like the railings are a mistake. I could of made these images better by tilting the camera to fit the whole of the flag in the space between the railings. Something to remember for next time.

Second set of images

I then moved on to the Al Boom tourist village and seen this dhow by the side of the road. This shot shows the front of the dhow in focus and the background softly blurred.

You can still see the shape of the dhow receding through the image which creates depth. The unsightly truck is blurred and so are the birds I suppose I could of tightened the image up and went abit closer. All these images had to be unedited as stated in the course work, I would of normally tight cropped the dhow to remove the truck and sign and to finish this image off, maybe even convert to monotone/sepia.


Dhow Foreground in Focus. Camera settings- F5.6,fl 21mm, 1/80sec, ISO100

This second image shows the foreground blurred and the background sharp so that you can see the inners of the dhow and details in the background. In this image I must of re-adjusted my stance between shots as the view point is slightly lower than that the previous image, even though all the settings were virtually the same. This is a useful example of how the background being in focus can be used to show details.


Dhow Background in Focus. Camera settings- F5.6,fl21mm,1/100sec, ISO 100

The closer I was to the dhow the shallower the depth of field , the further from the dhow , the deeper the depth of field. With the first image, the shallow depth of field the point of focus naturally draws the eye to the front of the dhow, to the part of the image that is sharp. In this second image however my eyes are drawn towards the details inside the dhow and the oars, then onto the red signage at the top left corner then to the blurred front part of the image. I like both of the dhow images.



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