Exercise: Focus with a set aperture (TAoP)

Objective: To show how changing the focus point with an aperture set at its widest affects the picture and make a choice as to which is the preferred image.

For this exercise I have chosen f5.6 as my fixed aperture as I feel it worked very well.

My subject is a guitar fret board shot from a slightly raised angle. I tried this exercise with a row of books but felt that the different font styles, colours and font sizes added some confusion to the final picture and were slightly distracting. I chose to use black and white photos for my final selection as I feel it helps to demonstrate the objective.

The first picture is focused on the nearest few frets.

Cropped near focus

Photo 2 is focusing on the centre frets

Cropped mid focus

The final photo is focused on the last frets

Cropped far focus

As I expected, anything that is not the at the centre of focus is blurred. The photos are fairly basic – there is nothing in particular that could distract the eye (perhaps the strap to the left of each image) – no background objects or colours, and the positioning of the camera almost turns the fret board into a runway. Your eye is led directly to the centre of focus.

As for choosing my favourite image, I think it has to be the far focus picture. The area in focus is directly in the middle of the whole image whereas the near focus falls right at the bottom of the image rendering the rest of the picture quite useless as it is just a lot of blur. You can almost make out the tuning heads on the far focus as well – making the subject more apparent.

I would like to experiment a bit more with this exercise and have different objects in the background to measure just how blurry they become at different focal ranges and use colour too, but for now, I think the images portray the objective.

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