Paying attention to depth of field

One of the things I miss most from the old days is the depth of field scale (dof). Some of the new lenses have one but plenty do not. My Leica lenses all have a dof scale which makes it really handy to figure out what is in focus and what is not. Think about this. How many of you press the dof button to see what is in and what is out of focus. How many of you know what that is and where it is located. I know I use it very infrequently. The reason for this is if you are shooting at a small aperture like f11 or f16 it’s to dark and you can’t really tell what is in or out of focus. So the dof scale is very handy, unless there isn’t one. A good rule of thumb is to focus 1/3 of the way into the image and use an f stop that will cover the distance from front to back if that is what you want. The image above was focused on the end of the traps using f11 as the aperture with a 35mm lens. This gave me sharp focus from in front all the way to just past the boats. When you are out shooting experiment a little with dof. So when you are traveling you don’t come back with images that are not in focus like you would want. The cause of this is most likely the camera being on auto and the f stop was picked for you and most likely wide open at 3.5. The camera will always default to the highest shutter speed it can to make sure there is no movement. Good luck and happy shooting!

traps_boats-1
Leica M-P 240  Leica 35mm Summicron  ISO 200  1/250s  f11

No Trespassing

Exploring with a camera can be one of the most interesting parts of traveling. Cape Ann has an endless supply of great places to explore. This image has several things going for it. Texture (my favorite), great light, shadows, and of course meaning. The No Trespassing sign is a no brainer with overgrowth and and a drain pipe laying on the stairs leading upward. Who knows what kind of shape the stairs are in. The knot hole in the railing makes this image for me. I don’t know about you but it pulls me right into the image. Exploring while traveling means you can find interesting things like this.

notrespass-1

Landscape photography tools – leading elements

One of the most important elements of landscape photography is the leading element. It’s that one aspect of the image that pulls the viewer right into the frame. On one of my recent tours to Good Harbor Beach we were faced with a very low tide which gave us some very cool mounds of sand created by the tide. This added to the visual aspects of this image by also giving it some texture. The curving structure of the rivulets of sand leading up to the rising sun pulls the viewer into the image.

sunriseghb-3

I shot this in both horizontal and vertical but the vertical to me is much better. It gives the image more depth.

sunriseghb-2

The sun star is much better in this image because the sun is lower, but I still like the vertical even if it does have some sun flare from the filter as the sun was higher.