Don’t Lose Focus: Come a little closer


Kai Ford

Hola, everyone! Welcome back to the safe space that is my piece of Bearing News. This week, I wrestled with the shallow depth of field challenge.
Focus. It’s all about focus. Whether the subject is a drop of dew falling off a leaf or your grandson taking his first steps, the only way to get the greatest amount of detail from your subject is by focusing on it. A shallow depth of field is focusing in on a subject that is close to the camera and blurring anything past your target. The interesting part about working with a shallow depth of field is that what you are not focused on is just as important as what you are focused on. The area that isn’t in focus is commonly referred to as the bokeh. Bokeh is the smooth background in an image and is often spotted with points of light to break up the scene. Frequently, bokeh is in portraits, but any image that blurs the background becomes enhanced by a little bokeh.
For this challenge I chose to highlight this photo I took at Hinkson Woods Conservation Area:This image lends itself to the shallow depth of field because of the contrast between the blackberry and the red berries, both in and out of focus. The difference between the colors lures the viewer into searching the rest of the image for another blackberry and, in doing so, showcases every aspect presented in the photo. If you try your hand at this challenge, search for subjects that can be accentuated by a shallow depth of field.
Do note that it is difficult to alter the depth of field during the editing process, so make sure that everything in frame is just as you want it.
After selecting the image, I lightened the photo and increased both highlights and vibrancy to make the berries stand out from the foliage around them. I settled on this photo:
The shallow depth of field challenge was a ton of fun, and I know that photographers, amateurs and veterans alike, could take this topic and run with it. (Though you may miss out on some fun shots if you run past them.) I suggest photographers of all sorts keep this technique in the back of their minds when they go out; you never know what opportunities await you.
Thank you all for joining me this week on Don’t Lose Focus. I hope to see you all again on another intrepid photography adventure! Don’t forget to try new things!