Thursday, February 18, 2010

Depth of Field/Rule of Thirds

A lot of how much control you have determining Depth of Field (DOP) will be decided by the type of camera you have. If you have a point and shoot you probably have creative modes such as portrait (usually symbolized by a head shot) or macro/closeup (usually symbolized by a tulip). At least those are the symbols Canon uses. Other than my first Minolta SLR (Single Lens Reflex Camera....where you can change the lenses) all my cameras have been Canons, so that is what I know. You can play with the DOF some with those creative settings, but much, much more with a DSLR (Digital SLR).

Depth of Field refers to the amount of distance that is actually in focus. For instance, in these photos, the background is out of focus. You could also choose to have the foreground out of focus....these choices are made in the AV mode (aperture priority). We will go over these terms more and if you don't care about DOF, just enjoy the photos. :-)

Last week, I woke up to fresh snow three different days in three different towns (Memphis, Henderson TN and Lawrenceville, GA). These snow photos were taken in my yard on Saturday.

Besides DOF, another thing to look at in these photos is the Rule of Thirds. If you made a grid with three sections going across and up and down, your subject matter that you want the eye to be drawn to should be where a horizontal and vertical line intersect. That is much more interesting than having your focal point stuck in the center. You can usually correct this with cropping but it is easier to do it as you take the shot.

Above, the flame is the focal point...and below the wrought iron curly Q is the focal point...see how they are placed in the intersection of the thirds lines? It can be the upper intersection or lower....right side or left....The DOF also helps your eye go to the focal point as the background is out of focus.
One basic problem I think a lot of people have is how to download photos for albums or something on the computer. My tip here is to be sure you know where you placed the photo you want to it on your desktop, on a thumb drive (my computer) a document? Sometimes renaming the file will also help you to find it. I know a lot more about photography than I do computers. I always say that I know just enough to be DANGEROUS! Just remember, most things you do can be undone....most things :-)
Thanks to my Mom for the paperwhite bulbs...I have really enjoyed them!
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CelticWoman said...

great tips, awesome shots. Sandi

Clare said...

Thank you for these photography tips. I'm someone who really needs them!