Photography: Different focus points, aperture and depth of field

You may remember from the blog about my first set of photos with my newly acquired Sony A200 that I got feedback about my photos all having the subject in the centre of the photo, and that not always being the best for good composition.

Little did I know, because I didn’t read the manual, that my camera has 9 focus points that can be manually adjusted so as to focus on any of the 9 points in the viewfinder, and not just the middle. The image below, borrowed from the awesome Steve’s Digicams, shows these focus points as I see them in the viewfinder.

Different focus points

Different focus points

I also read up on aperture settings and how they affect depth of field. Basically, the higher the aperture setting which is actually a low number, for example f/4.5 is higher than f/22) the shallower the depth of field and thus the less of your photo is in focus.

My aim going out was to combine the 9 focus point options with high aperture settings and hopefully see some results which were different to the standard pictures I took the week before. I took 50 shots in all and got a couple of photos I am happy with – I guess I’ll have to get used to that kind of hit-rate, where more thought and precision is required, good results will be more infrequent – at least for now!

This first photo is my favourite, and one which best highlights my best use of a different focus point and a manual aperture setting. I love how the lone piece of straw (or whatever it is – any fauna experts out there, feel free to correct me) at the front is sharp and in focus as the bits behind are less in focus and the background is not in focus at all.

Shallow depth of focus

Shallow depth of focus

The next shot shows just how much attention you have to pay when taking a great photo, and how I had my mind on lots of camera settings but not on the actual flower itself. As was pointed out to me on AVForums, I should have moved the bud from behind the flower.

Damn that bud!

Damn that bud!

This 3rd photo had the makings of being a good shot but the dandelion is not nearly sharp enough. Not sure why that is, I’m probably not taking enough time to line up and get the shots right before pressing the shutter button – another point and shoot trait I need to lose. It’s a shame because the depth of field behind the dandelion is really good – maybe too good that it starts to lose focus before the dandelion itself!

Not sharp enough

Not sharp enough

All in all I’m pleased with my efforts and it’s nice to be learning about actual photography and different settings can change the outcome dramatically. I’m glad I got rid of the

Leave a comment

Filed under Aperture, Cameras, Depth of Field, Photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s