|, Photography, Tips & Tricks|Focus on Storytelling

Focus on Storytelling

By | 2016-12-18T17:01:04+00:00 August 30th, 2012|52 Comments

One of the beautiful things cameras can do is help us to see things differently. Our eyes quickly adjust to our surroundings, popping in and out of focus depending on where we look, so in some ways everything around us seems to be in focus all of the time. It’s not very easy to focus on one thing and intentionally look at the other, blurry parts of what’s in front of us, but with an SLR and a large aperture we can create images and really look at them which we never could have done with our own, naked eyes.

I think that’s why using a shallow depth of field is so appealing, and also magical. It helps to tell a different story than if the entire image were in focus, even with an inanimate subject like this hiking trail. We’ll all view these two images differently … some will prefer the image on the left with the entire scene in focus, and some will prefer the one on the right with the flowers in focus and the trail soft and blurred.

Each photo tells its own story and speaks to each of us differently as well.

Camera Info: Canon 5DMkIII, Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8L IS lens
LEFT image = 1/10 sec at f/22, ISO 400
RIGHT image = 1/750 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400

About the Author:

My name is Nicole and I'm a photographer, author, & educator living in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. When I'm not making photos I'm writing books and tutorials for my online store, Learn more about me and my story here.

52 Comments

  1. sujith manjummel August 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    both looks beautiful …

  2. sujith manjummel August 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    both looks beautiful …

  3. Derek Kind August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Great example, +Nicole S. Young! I hope to add this technique to my landscapes. :)

  4. Derek Kind August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Great example, +Nicole S. Young! I hope to add this technique to my landscapes. :)

  5. Paulo Serrão August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    +1 for Left

  6. Paulo Serrão August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    +1 for Left

  7. niv nivin August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    ever green

  8. niv nivin August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    ever green

  9. Paulo Serrão August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    +1 for Right

  10. Paulo Serrão August 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    +1 for Right

  11. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    so sweet away…………………………..thanks god.

  12. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    so sweet away…………………………..thanks god.

  13. Anthony Tulliani August 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    So true! To me, shallow depth of feild is more "realistic" because that is how we see things, on the other hand small apertures are hyper real and create a different dynamic. Both are great, it just depends on what you want to tell. I prefer shallow depth but thats just me :P

  14. Anthony Tulliani August 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    So true! To me, shallow depth of feild is more "realistic" because that is how we see things, on the other hand small apertures are hyper real and create a different dynamic. Both are great, it just depends on what you want to tell. I prefer shallow depth but thats just me :P

  15. Daniel Ewert August 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Both are great!  I like the one with shallow DOF better myself :)

  16. Daniel Ewert August 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Both are great!  I like the one with shallow DOF better myself :)

  17. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    One of the beautiful things cameras can do is help us to see things differently.

  18. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    One of the beautiful things cameras can do is help us to see things differently.

  19. Jason Mitchell August 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Great description Nicole.

  20. Jason Mitchell August 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Great description Nicole.

  21. يسرى صبرى المليجى August 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    butremainsbeautifulinourlives

  22. يسرى صبرى المليجى August 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    butremainsbeautifulinourlives

  23. Nils Jörn August 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    +Nicole S. Young Thanks for sharing the two pictures. They are amazing. For me it's hard to decide which one I like more.
    Have a nice evening.

  24. Nils Jörn August 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    +Nicole S. Young Thanks for sharing the two pictures. They are amazing. For me it's hard to decide which one I like more.
    Have a nice evening.

  25. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    wow you are a great ……………………………………

  26. STEPHANIE PEREZ August 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    wow you are a great ……………………………………

  27. يسرى صبرى المليجى August 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    thank

  28. يسرى صبرى المليجى August 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    thank

  29. Raimonda Laugalyte August 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    beautiful

  30. Raimonda Laugalyte August 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    beautiful

  31. Tina Rozman August 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    great pic!!!!

  32. Tina Rozman August 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    great pic!!!!

  33. Luis Toledo August 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    @_@

  34. Luis Toledo August 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    @_@

  35. Aaron Hockley August 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    It's almost as if you should write a book about focus… ;)

  36. Aaron Hockley August 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    It's almost as if you should write a book about focus… ;)

  37. dene' miles August 31, 2012 at 4:42 am - Reply

    So pretty!  My favorite time of year :)

  38. dene' miles August 31, 2012 at 4:42 am - Reply

    So pretty!  My favorite time of year :)

  39. Vinay SINGH RANA August 31, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

    09335670420

  40. Vinay SINGH RANA August 31, 2012 at 7:06 am - Reply

    09335670420

  41. Bart Busschots August 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    when I look at the left image the path is the subject of the shot, and it's a very beautiful path and a very beautiful image. When I look at the right, the flowers are the subjects. It's also a very beautiful image. It really is amazing how changing nothing but the DOF changes the story!

  42. Bart Busschots August 31, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    when I look at the left image the path is the subject of the shot, and it's a very beautiful path and a very beautiful image. When I look at the right, the flowers are the subjects. It's also a very beautiful image. It really is amazing how changing nothing but the DOF changes the story!

  43. Nicole S. Young August 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    +Bart Busschots You nailed it, that's exactly what I was hoping people would see :)

  44. Nicole S. Young August 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    +Bart Busschots You nailed it, that's exactly what I was hoping people would see :)

  45. +Todd Naber September 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Great Pictures & description of what you see through your lens! Do you shoot much with the Canon 60D?

  46. Amy Johnson September 3, 2012 at 4:48 am - Reply

    When i first saw the photo on the right, I noticed the grass in the lower left corner and the dandelions in the right corner. 

  47. Amy Johnson September 3, 2012 at 4:48 am - Reply

    When i first saw the photo on the right, I noticed the grass in the lower left corner and the dandelions in the right corner.

  48. Vinay SINGH RANA September 3, 2012 at 6:37 am - Reply

    we have a

  49. Vinay SINGH RANA September 3, 2012 at 6:37 am - Reply

    we have a

  50. Abel J. September 4, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Good description of the use of DOF. I have to remind my self this when I go shot. I like the photo on the right.

  51. ISHTIAQ KHAN September 6, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    SO MUCH BEAUTIFUL LIKE (NICOLE S.YOUNG

  52. ISHTIAQ KHAN September 6, 2012 at 10:53 am - Reply

    SO MUCH BEAUTIFUL LIKE (NICOLE S.YOUNG

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