Thursday, November 16, 2006

Miles ahead of the Pack

Well the title of the post is the The caption for this photograph, and i recently captured this, and is one of my favorite, primarily because i first thought of a theme (Miles ahead of the Pack), then thought an idea to visualize it, and then the shot also came as i wanted.

Remember this photo hasn't been edited at all by any software (except for resizing for ease of publishing)

Selectively getting the Almond into sharp focus and leaving the rest of the nuts out of focus, even when they were not separated by large distances and not over exposing anything (even with a low aperture value) was slightly tricky, Here is how i did it:

Step 1:
Lowering the aperture value to the minimum, that is allowed by my camera, which is 2.6, It was done to reduce the depth of field to the minimum, so that the least amount of frame is in focus. (But lowering the aperture value, opens up the lens to the maximum, and allows a lot of light to enter, which must be compensated by other things, as explained below)

Step 2:
Setting the shutter speed to faster value than normally used for indoor settings, to compensate for the excess light because of the small aperture.
BUT, the result i got was nothing great, so what i did was i removed the curtains from the right side of the almond, and allowed sunlight to fall on one side, this created a sharp shadow of the ridges in the surface of almond, giving the illusion of extra sharpness of almond, and blurring of the rest of the nuts.

Step 3:
Manually setting the focus to the minimum possible, and then getting the camera lens as close as possible to just get the almond in focus. Now this is important because:

Say, the camera focuses sharply at distance "X", And the distance between the almonds and the nuts be "Y". Now to get a selective focus, Y should be as large as possible when compared to X. This can be done it two ways, one is to increase the Y, but that would have made the nuts occupy a very small area in frame, and the beauty would have been lost. The other way is to reduce X, which is what i did. ;-")

Handy Tip:
Your clothes are brilliant materials to block unwanted stuff out, because you don't have to carry anything extra and they don't reflect back the light, for example, The red background you see is basically my jacket rolled up, to prevent the tv in my living room to ruin the background, however i noticed later, that in the reflection on the glass surface you can see the outlines of the tv. (right-bottom)