Saturday, April 7, 2012

Photo of the Week: Conservatory in the Rain

Conservatory in the Rain
Nikon D7000 w/ 105mm Micro Nikkor lens, 1/320sec at f20, ISO1600. © Andy Marfia 2012 All Rights Reserved.

There's a common misconception among amateur photographers that in order to produce shallow depth of field (aka: bokeh), you need an f1.4 or f1.8 lens.  While those lenses certainly help-- smaller apertures give you the ability to produce bokeh in a wider variety of situations-- focal length and distance to subject are also equally important. (ie: the closer you are to your subject, or the longer your focal length, the shallower the depth of field is likely to be).

The photo above, a close up of a budding tree with the Garfield Park Conservatory in the background, is a good example of this.  This was shot with a 105mm lens at f20.  Not f2, mind you, f20.  I initially tried this shot at f4, but that aperture completely obliterated the background to a perfect, soft blur.  That would be fine for some photos, but in this case I wanted to retain some detail of the conservatory behind this plant.  So I tried f8, f16, and finally f20, until I got the look that I wanted.

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