Saturday, 6 March 2010

Project: Focus - at different apertures

An interesting exercise, exploring the depth of field of a lens. Once again, its back to the beach huts in West Mersea. This time I used a 50mm f1.7 fixed lens and focused on the 4th upright.

50mm f1.8

The first photo in the sequence illustrates very shallow depth of field with the post really "jumping" out of the photograph. This is certainly the technique to be used to isolate the subject from both the foreground and background.

50mm f8

At f8, there is an increasing depth of field, particularly beyond the main subject. The nearer post are still not in focus, but they are much clearer than in the first photograph. I find that this is not as satisfactory visually as the first photograph, being more of a distraction, rather than a a means of accentuating the subject. It is certainly of interest that the background has been thrown into sharper focus much more extensively than the foreground.

50mm f22
At the smallest aperture available to me, the depth of field has increased and now the 3rd stanchion is sharp. The first stanchion is still not acceptably sharp, though everything beyond the 3rd stanchion is now acceptably sharp. To me this shows that to ensure maximum sharpness throughout the photograph, as in a landscape, this is the aperture to use, though I would make my focal point possibly closer to the camera if the landscape required similar treatment.


  1. You have chosen a great subject for this exercise and the warm light really adds to it. First shot is my favourite.

  2. Janet - thanks. It was a gorgeous late afternoon in January. The beach huts are well photographed - they were renovated for a Sainsbury advert some years ago! That afternoon there were a number of people photographing the huts, so had to take it in turns to get the view you wanted!