Really more useful for landscape and macro photographers who are going to be shooting through very small apertures (f/22 and above), this video from FStoppers explains what diffraction is and how it can affect your shots. The trade off, as they explain in the video, is between a large depth of field and a sharp image; and the trick is to find your “sweet-spot.”
The difference isn’t as obvious on the video even at 1080p, so if you want to see full resolution examples be sure to head over to the original post.
This past Monday was the 182nd birthday of photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who became famous for his high speed photographs of galloping horses. In 1965, the US Department of Defense commissioned this short documentary titled It Started with Muybridge, which tells the story of how Muybridge’s early photography experiments contributed towards the advancement of science and technology during the Atomic Age.
Google scientist Sam Hasinoff has come up with a technique called “light-efficient photography” that uses focus-stacking to reduce the amount of time exposures require. In traditional photography, increasing the depth of field in a scene requires reducing the size of the aperture, which reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor and increases the amount of time required to properly expose the photo. This can cause a problem in some situations, such as when a longer exposure would lead to motion blur in the scene.
Hasinoff’s technique allows a camera to capture a photo of equal exposure and equivalent depth of field in a much shorter amount of time. He proposes using a wide aperture to capture as much light as possible, and using software to compensate for the shallow depth of field by stacking multiple exposures. In the example shown above, the camera captures an identical photograph twice as fast by simply stacking two photos taken with larger apertures.
Focus stacking is a technique for creating photos with a large depth of field by combining multiple photos with shallow depth of fields. One of the applications is in macro photography, where the technique is often used to make sharp images of tiny insects. Oleg over at Circuits@Home wanted an easier way to focus stack while shooting in the field, so he build a focus stacking assistant using Arduino. Given two focal points, the tool automatically takes a sequence of photographs, moving the focus slowly from one point to the other.
Oleg shares some details on how he created his EOS camera version, and says he’s also working on a Nikon version.
A compact camera probably isn’t the first thing someone would grab when looking to make a photo with an extremely shallow depth-of-field, since the small aperture and small sensor limit it in this regard. That might soon be different: a recently published patent application by Samsung shows that the company is looking into producing achieving shallow depth of fields with compact cameras by using a second lens to create a depth map for each photo. Read more…
Learning how to control depth of field with your camera isn’t too difficult, but do you know the science behind how it works? This uber-educational 20-minute video lesson gives a thorough explanation of depth of field and the different factors that affect it. It was made by artist Justin Snodgrass, and is also available for download (and in parts) over on his website.
The Frazier Ultimate lens is like the universe’s anti-matter to the Canon 50mm f/1.0 that we shared yesterday. Rather than have a tiny depth of field and tons of bokeh, the Frazier lens is one that has massive depth of field, allowing both the foreground and background of the image to be in focus at the same time. It’s widely used in Hollywood and in wildlife documentaries, and the video above shows some of the visual tricks you can do when having infinite DoF.
DOF Calculator is an app for Android phones that helps you easily calculate depth of field and hyperfocal distances. Simply tell it your camera, lens, and aperture setting, and it’ll spit out the numbers you need for optimally sharp landscape photographs. You can download it for free by searching for “DOF Calculator” in the Android Market.
For a quick video tutorial on how hyperfocal distance works, check out this post.
The concept of hyperfocal distance is used in landscape photography to achieve the greatest depth of field and acceptable sharpness for both near and far objects. In the two minute tutorial above, wildlife photographer Chris Weston walks through some hyperfocal distance focusing techniques. You can also find a couple informative tutorials at DOFMaster and Cambridge in Colour.