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Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:25 AM   #1
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This is the patchwork of fields for which I'd gone out in the cold when I saw the cat.
Both shots 1/512s, f/3.2, ISO100, 10.5mm, 51mm equiv.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:28 AM   #2
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Note that this, an infinity-focused shot, has reasonable focus from there all the way here to the soil & vegetation just a few metres away, due to the very short focal length.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 7:29 AM   #3
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Youre almost as steady as a tripod Alan. Both shots are almost exactly the same. My preference is the top one. I like the razor sharpness of the foreground showing the drops of water. It just feels chilly.
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Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:19 PM   #4
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Alan, your first shot is great. As Bynx stated, the second is nearly identical to the first. As such, it doesn't really meet the intent of challenge. You've got a very large depth of field there and we are looking for very shallow DOF in order to isolate things in the photo. In the second photo, the short grass in the foreground is just as sharp as in the first. Did you have your aperture set for the smallest setting (largest f-stop)? Even with a short lens and focus at infinity, you should have been able to better isolate the background.

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Old Feb 18, 2009, 9:33 AM   #5
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Challenge aside....I enjoy the pictures you post of the area you live in.....it looks so serene and beautiful.
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Old Feb 19, 2009, 4:08 AM   #6
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calr wrote:
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...In the second photo, the short grass in the foreground is just as sharp as in the first. Did you have your aperture set for the smallest setting (largest f-stop)? Even with a short lens and focus at infinity, you should have been able to better isolate the background.
If you look closely at these images, it's obvious that in the first shot the nearby thorns are sharp and the background isn't. In the second shot, even in these resized versions, you can also clearly see that the thorns and everything up to a few metres away are unsharp, and everything beyond that is relatively sharp.

As I thought I'd made clear in my original text, the point of the second picture is to illustrate the fact that it's impossible selectively to isolate anything that isn't very close to you using a camera with a small sensor and a short focal length, because the hyperfocal distance is nearby.

I note that Walter's shot #2 of the lifeguard tower and pier illustrates exactly the same point rather more effectively and artistically, with his better equipment and technique. In that shot both distant pier and nearby seagulls and seaweed are pretty sharp; only the nearby tower is unsharp. However, I note that he was at f/9.9, and I was at f/3.2 (fully open, so minimum DoF).


He was, I hope, a lot more comfortable in California at the time than I wasin Cheshire, in spite of his rainstorm.


Depth of field is determined only by the absolute size of the hole in the lens, in millimetres. Therefore the smaller the absolute focal length, the larger the depth of focus, the ultimate being an idealised pinhole camera, where everything is sharp. The ultimate in selective focus is a Fox-Talbot style plate camera with a long lens and a large f-stop, or the giant astronomical telescopes.

So users of relatively compact camera are especially up against it in this challenge, needing to work well zoomed in on nearby subjects for the best results. For educational purposes, I'd like to see some efforts from the dSLR users with their big long lenses and solid tripods, selectively showing things that are close to each other but a long way away. I won't be able to compete! I shall explore the possibilities, with tripod and well zoomed in on distant objects, but I'm not hopeful, as my maximum aperture is quite a small hole (f/5 or so) when zoomed in.

Many of you will also own compact cameras. Seeing what you can do with those, as well as the big boys' toys, in this challenge will be quite educational for all of us. I'll bet you can beat my efforts.
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Old Feb 21, 2009, 2:35 PM   #7
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Hi Alan

your photos capture some memories I have of living in the UK... Thanks for sharing (and participating in this challenge).

I really appreciate what you wrote in your last post (above this one). I had a Fuji point and shoot for several years before moving to a Canon DSLR. The smaller sensors (and lens limitations) of p&s cameras really do struggle to create shallow DOF in certain situations. Often p&s are more than adequate for landscapes, etc! I love thousands of the photos I took with my Fuji.

Yes, I can certainly see the change in focal shift, though no doubt if you had a DSLR the change would have been much more obvious. Well done. Always like your photos.

Paul.
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:34 PM   #8
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Alan,

Nice images. It's hard to get much dof with a p&s. Not much you can do about it. But, keep posting what you can get. I love the area around your home.

Patty
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