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Old Apr 9, 2004, 2:42 AM   #1
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Default DOF - Bird "in" or "out"

This is interesting because I just returned from a nature shoot where I experienced the exact same question and problem, so I shot both. It was nifty to see the question posed. Well, here's the result:
Bird "in":



Bird "out":


I didn't really like either because the bird's face was covered by branches, so I waited for the alternative and for a moment when the bird was doing something animated, like finishing a drink:


It's definitely a problem to be faced in the field!
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 6:15 AM   #2
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What great colors! I love the surprise of red in the brambles! I prefer the third. The first and second have both obscured the bird somewhat. The detail on the third is great. But on the second I do like the lower left corner - nice, textured tangle. It's my second favorite.
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 9:24 AM   #3
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i'd say the third is the best....but this is definetly a problem i have at the park taking pictures of the great blue heron.....lol pond surrounded by trees and bushes

nice shots good example of the challenge
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 9:52 AM   #4
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Nice job. The water dripping off the beak in the last shot makes it for me.

This challenge has been very interesting. While I realize DOF pictures have their place and make for some interesting photos, I tend to prefer EVERYTHING in focus. I'd always shoot at F16 and above if I could. I remember when I first found out I was near sighted and got glasses. The fact that trees had individual leaves instead of a green haze on them was a great revelation to me.
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 10:09 AM   #5
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I tend to prefer a shallow depth of field, unlike Puck. Wonder why that is? I like one thing in sharp focus and the rest soft. Weird, because my personality prefers the opposite in almost everything else - constant activity and focus on lots of things. :?:
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 10:11 AM   #6
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I'm with you on that one, Puck. I generally prefer to shoot at smaller apertures as well. Different strokes for different folks
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 11:18 AM   #7
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Normcar has provided us with examples of DOF that goes beyond the challenge because he also showed us where it doesn't necessarily work. The mechanics were correct in the first two shots, but as he noted, the composition just wasn't right for using a shallow DOF. That third shot is excellent, and it's proof that we need to visualize the results in our minds as well as in our cameras.

To you who don't like using a shallow DOF: Doesn't it limit the possibilities spread out before you? For instance, if using a small aperture creates a visual fight between a background building and the person you're photographing, do you opt to not take the photo at all? Not that I don't sort of agree with you. Most of my favorite photos are pin-sharp throughout, but there are some that just couldn't have been as beautiful or meaningful without their shallow DOF.
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 12:09 PM   #8
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No, no Barbara. Don't misunderstand me (and probably Puck's intent as well). It's not that I don't like shallow DOF in many cases, just that I do prefer to see as much of the image in focus as is possible. Certainly, there are many instances where you WANT to shallow your depth of field for the effect of the picture. A closeup of a flower comes to mind, where you want the eyes focused on the subject and not distracted by a busy background. However, too often the background is not properly blurred and leads to an ineffective picture instead. This, of course, comes with an understanding your how ones lens behaves and many practice shots to gain that knowledge. So, actually, we are in agreement

My apologies to Norm for taking the focus (no pun intended (yeah, right!)) away from his thread and pictures. But, on the bright side Norm, your thread is being kept active
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Old Apr 9, 2004, 12:46 PM   #9
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I guess I most certainly did misunderstand! Oh well, no harm done at all. We all got to wax eloquent, something we humans dearly love doing.

Okay, Normcar, it's your turn to do some waxing.
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Old Apr 10, 2004, 12:30 AM   #10
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My first time back here since I posted. I've been busy shooting and posting geese in another thread using that busy little FZ10 workhorse (I'm really enjoying how that tiny beast works).

Henry, I appreciate the way you keep our tools sharpened and the chat going because it's interesting to hear how everyone has different opinions and tastes. It'd just be plain boring if we all agreed on tastes, tools and techniques.

Puck, I spent a long while playing with those geese and the water thing so I'm happy that you took notice.

Quote:
...but there are some that just couldn't have been as beautiful or meaningful without their shallow DOF.
I agree fully, Barb, as some of the shots from others in this challenge have demonstrated (e.g. Toner's elk and the blossoms surrounding the capital dome).

Vito and monkey, your input is always great!
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