Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Exercise 2

What: The brief for this exercise was to explore how the eye can be directed to parts of an image by using a shallow depth of field. This was done by setting the camera at its widest aperture and without moving the camera take three photographs of the same subject moving the focal point of the image from the front to the back, this should ensure that the depth of field can be moved
Where: In the house
When: After 4 O'clock in the afternoon
How: The camera settings were set to manual, ISO 200, and f/2.8 which is the widest focal length this particular lens can achieve. This time I used a beanbag tripod as I was inside and it allowed me to maintain a low angle and allow the photos to be taken without the camera moving around. I used three mah-jongg tiles from a set that I brought back from San Francisco on holiday. The photographs were taken under normal tungsten lights and so are white balance corrected.

Image 1 105mm, f/2.8, 1/6, ISO 400

Image 2 105mm, f/2.8, 1/6, ISO 400

Image 3 105mm, f/2.8, 1/6, ISO 400

Looking at the three photographs, I feel that in the first photograph my eye is being drawn away from the sharpest clearest tile to the two out of focus shapes due to the blurring of the colours and shapes.

In the second photograph it appears that the middle tile is being pulled out of position and that it appears to be floating in front of the first tile.
I am happiest with the third photograph as my eye is drawn through the photograph past the blurred shapes and colours until it comes to the third tile which is sharpest.

What I learned from this exercise is that the viewers eye can be directed from one part of the photograph to another by the simple use of depth of field, making only the subject and anything else on the focal plane. The photographer has to be aware of this as if a shallow depth of field is used, it may sometimes not suit the final image causing the image to "jar".

The one question I do have is this, do “we” see things in a certain way? Do we naturally not pay attention to images in which the depth of focus draws the eye away from the subject?

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