Please note that this is an audio transcription. Grammer and punctuation will not be perfect.
Hi there everyone and welcome to the Photography.ca podcast #2.‚ My name is Marko and I am you host.‚ Today is August 24, 2006, and we are coming to you from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
First off, thanks so much to those few people that left some comments on our bulletin board about the first podcast that we did.‚ I would encourage more people to leave comments as that is really the best way to make the show as good as possible.‚ For those people that may have stumbled upon this podcast by accident, really, there is not that much that you need to know.‚ You just go to the bulletin board on Photography.ca.‚ It is completely free to join.‚ You navigate your way to the podcast forum and you can post some feedback, any suggestions, what would you like to learn, what would you like to know, what would you like me to research for you.‚ It is absolutely free to join the bulletin board and while you are there, you could post one of your own pictures and get some critiques from me and perhaps from other people as well.‚ You can always give critiques for those photos that are already there.‚ The forum could use a little bit more actions so it would be really appreciated if people could leave more comments and post more pictures.‚ In that way, it will become an even better forum.‚ The forum as a whole is really dedicated to more alternative techniques in photography, not pictures that are so straight up.‚ There is a lot of fun we can have posting different pictures.‚ So, again, please post them.‚ Please leave comments about the podcast.
Today, I would actually like to talk about depth of field and changing it up when we are shooting in different types of situations.‚ Because Photography.ca is all about experimenting, well, it is nice to experiment.‚ In normal situations where you would choose a small depth of field or a large depth of field, well, I encourage you to change it up a bit and see the results that you get.‚ For those who do not really know that much about depth of field, there is a pretty good basic article on Photography.ca.‚ Just click the articles link and you can find it, but to recap in a nutshell, depth of field simply refers to the degree of sharpness between the foreground and background of your scene and subsequently your photograph.‚ You can control depth of field by two main ways by either making the aperture larger or smaller or by choosing different lenses.‚ If we talk about aperture, well, the smaller numbers on the barrel refers to a larger hole or aperture and the larger hole or aperture makes the foreground subject sharp but the background blurry.‚ If we choose the larger numbers around the barrel, well, that makes the entire scene from foreground to background fairly sharp.‚ The numbers in between will give you something in between.‚ In terms of choosing lenses, well, wide angle lenses tend to give you sharper depth of field than longer lenses.‚ So, wide angle lenses, 24 mm, etc., 20 mm, even 35 mm, that is going to give you a much sharper image from foreground to background than, let us say, a zoom lens of 200 mm.
Traditionally, when we shoot landscapes, we want to make the foreground to background the sharpest possible, so what people do is they will put it on a really small aperture like f/16, f/22, f/32, or even f/45 depending on what camera they are using.‚ They will often stick it on a tripod and they will get a sharp, sharp foreground to background shot.‚ Now, that can be extremely interesting and it is beautiful and it is the classic way to shoot landscapes.‚ What I would suggest doing is doing the exact opposite.‚ Choose a really large aperture, something where just the foreground is going to be sharp and the background is going to be blurry and experiment with what you are going to get.‚ Maybe focus on a rock or a tree or some small element in the scene and focus on that element and let the background go soft or blurry.‚ Shoot it at f/2.8 or f/4, see what happens.‚ Take a shot at f/5.6 instead of f/32 and see the difference.
On the other side of the coin, if you are shooting a portrait, let us say, well, a lot of people are going to choose a larger depth of field, which means a smaller number on the barrel and that will isolate the subject from the background.‚ It gives a really beautiful effect, but why not mix it up a bit?‚ Stick it on the tripod, try to get your person to stand as still as possible and shoot at f/32 or f/22.‚ Make sure you get some fast film when you are doing this, but see what happens.‚ Take a picture of their whole face in perfect sharpness, mix it up, change the angles.‚ That is really what it is all about.‚ That is the best way to experiment.
Play with your lens choices as well.‚ If you have more than one lens, try doing different things.‚ Use a wide angle lens and try and use the largest aperture possible.‚ See what happens.‚ See what you get.‚ Put a zoom lens on and try and use the smallest aperture possible.‚ See what you get.‚ Experiment, try both ends.‚ Record, record, record.‚ See the results.‚ Compare one from the other.‚ Find your own style.‚ Depth of field, it is one of the key things about photography.‚ It is one of the main choices to determine how you want your picture to look.‚ It is really up to you and experimenting is really the best way to make your photography even more interesting.‚ Of course, that is what we want.‚ We want interesting photography.‚ We do not always want the same old shots, the same old person in the middle of the photo.‚ We want to change it up.‚ We want to make it exciting.‚ Along those same lines, choose different angles, choose different heights.‚ If you are shooting a person, get on the ground and angle your camera up at that person, make them look large like a tree or get up on a table and shoot down at the person and give them a weird angle on their face.‚ Experiment and see what you get.‚ We are all about experimentation around here and we could not encourage it more.‚ If you want to really change it up, use a combination of the techniques we just talked about.‚ Shoot a portrait or shoot a landscape better.‚ Yeah, shoot a landscape with a really wide open aperture and get on a crazy angle.‚ Take a picture of the tree from the ground using zoom lens instead of a wide angle lens.‚ Do something unconventional.
On the other side of it, instead of taking a picture of a person with a wider open aperture for a more shallow depth of field, stop down a bit, go to f/8, f/11, use some faster film, stick a flash on there, choose a different angle, mix it up.‚ Choose a lens that you normally would not use, mix it up.
I guess that is really the theme of today’s show, mixing it up by using different depths of field that you normally would not use, but in order to learn it is really important to record and remember what you did.‚ Take some notes while you are doing it.‚ If you are lucky enough to have a digital camera, the notes will be there as well.‚ They will be on the EXIF data.‚ Just learn, just record and learn.
That basically covers it.‚ It is a really short episode today.‚ Next time, we will make one a little longer.‚ Again, I encourage everyone to leave some comments about this podcast, what did you like, what did you not like.‚ Please go to the forum and post your comments.‚ You can always send me an email at‚firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be sure to reply just as soon as I can.‚ I absolutely appreciate emails and I absolutely appreciate feedback.‚ So, thanks again for listening everyone and we should be back in about two weeks with a brand new tip and a little bit more of advice.‚ Until then, everyone.‚ Take care and happy shooting.