In this edition, we bring you a new image in focus
with a special offer and a photo tip on depth of
field. We have added an entirely new section to our
website called "Structures" and it includes images
of lighthouses and covered bridges. We hope you
enjoy them and this newsletter. If you have any
suggestions for things you would like to see in
these newsletters, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we'll try to accomodate!
Bloom Photography is happy to announce the addition
of 3 new images to the online gallery in a new
category called "Structures". These images are
currently on www.bloomphoto.com and are ready for
- Pemigewasset Bridge (July 2000)
- Nubble Light (July 2000)
- Fogged In (July 2000) - This month's
"Image in Focus"
and more to come... stay tuned!
PHOTO TIPS: DEPTH OF FIELD
by Rebecca Bloom
Depth of field (DOF) is one of the most important
creative controls available to a photographer.
Depth of field is used to focus attention to one
particular subject, or to keep focus on some of the
grander vistas and create interesting composition.
In order to understand depth of field, one must
have the basics of aperature. I will go into more
detail in a later photo tips section, but here is
aperature in a nutshell. The smaller numbers
indicating f-stop, or aperature, open the lens
wider. For example f2.0 is one of the largest
aperatures on most lenses, and this setting makes
the widest opening in the shutter when you press
the shutter release. The larger the number, the
smaller the opening (just to make things easy!).
You may have heard of Ansel Adams' f64 club, which
eluded to a club that used the smallest opening
possible. This is a very basic lesson in aperature,
and as I said before, I will be adding to this
along with shutter speed in future issues.
When you are trying to really make something the
main subject of an image, it is important to make
other things in the image uninteresting and
unimportant. The best way to make something
unimportant is to throw it out of focus. So how do
you throw something close to your subject out of
focus and still keep your subject in focus? Depth
of field. Smaller aperatures (larger openings in
the lens) create a very shallow DOF, meaning the
area of sharp focus is very small. The closer you
are to your subject, the smaller the DOF. If you
are trying to shoot a flower and the background
seems distracting, get in close and open that
aperature. The flower will be in focus and the
clutter around it will become out of focus and
unimportant. To get an example of this type of use
of DOF, click
The poppies are the main subject of the image, so
using a smaller aperature, I was able to throw the
lupines slightly out of focus.
The other extreme of DOF is when you want
everything in sharp focus from the rock directly in
front of you to the mountain range 25 miles away.
The answer to that is closing that aperature down
to the largest f stop you have available (generally
f22 on most 35mm lenses until you get into the high
end lenses or larger formats). Composing your image
is your first step, and then closing the lens down
to get the best focus for the entire image. On most
35mm lenses, there is a group of numbers printed at
the base of the lens close to where it attaches to
the camera, that will show you where your focus
will be sharp at different f-stops. The numbers
will start at the smallest aperature and count
down, then back up. For example, if your camera's
smallest aperature is f22 it will look like:
22 16 11 8 4 2.2 4 8
11 16 22. The way to use these numbers
is simple. When you are using any particular f-stop
(say f16) and you are focused on your main subject,
look at the numbers and find the 16's. Then look at
the lens ring to find what measurements fall
between the 16's. Generally lenses have both feet
and meters on the barrel, so no pesky conversions!
The measurements that fall in between the 16's will
be in sharp focus. An example of what you might see
for f16 is between infinity (the sideways 8) and 8
feet. This means that from 8 feet in front of you
to infinity will be in sharp focus. For an example
of this use of DOF, see this
image of the Superstition Mountains. Here, the
poppies, the mountains, and the moon are all in
focus. Another example is the "Image in Focus" of
the Portland Headlight.
There is a way to get even more out of your lens
and that is an easy trick we uitlize often. First,
compose and focus your camera as you normally
would. Stop your camera down to the smallest
aperature available and look at the DOF range. When
you focus to infinity (say on that mountain range),
there is a lot of room left to play with the DOF.
If you notice on the range, the sign for infinity
is well inside the DOF range. This means you can
actually back the focus off and as long as you keep
that infinity sign in the range, it will be in
focus. This allows you to bring more of the
foreground into focus.
Most cameras have a feature called a DOF preview.
What this does is allow you to see the image as it
will be transferred to film. There is generally a
button near the bottom of the lens (on the camera)
that you can press and this closes the lens down to
the size the opening will be when you are exposing
your image. This is a great feature when you are
trying to get the perfect composition. Keep in mind
that when the lens shuts down, there is a lot less
light coming into the camera and it may be
difficult to see the image. Practice makes perfect!
You may have noticed that in the paragraph above, I
said there will be less light coming into the
camera when the lens is closed down. This also
means there will be less light hitting the film. In
most cases, when your lens is shut down to the
extreme, your shutter speed will have to slow down
in order to let in more light (upcoming tips
issue). This means you may have a problem with
camera shake. The only real way to fix that is
using a tripod. Just ask my husband about lugging
the tripod throught the backcountry in the Grand
Tetons... The point is, if you really want a sharp
image, you will use a tripod. It is worth carrying
that tripod through the woods when you get your
images back, trust me.
If you are able to maximize or minimize DOF in your
images, you will really see your images getting
more interesting and less like snapshots. Go out
and play with your camera and have fun. You will
make mistakes, but the best way to learn is to do.
Believe me when I say film has been wasted in my
efforts to utilize DOF to the best of my abilities.
And I'm still learning.....
I hope this has been helpful for you hobbyists out
there! We want to continually improve our tips so
if you have a suggestion or request, please email
and we'll do our best to meet your needs! Happy
shooting and keep it fun!
We offer selected images for auction on eBay.com
starting at discounted bid prices. To see what we
are currently offering in our auctions, click here.
From time to time, we place other items we come
across in our travels or items from our spring
cleaning! So, all items may not be photographic
HOW TO ORDER
Bloom Photography takes orders in any of the
- Email email@example.com
with your print selection including print name,
print size, framing option, payment method, and
- Send the same information via US mail
PO Box 19527
Fountain Hills, AZ 85269
- Order online (coming soon!) at www.bloomphoto.com
Bloom Photography is currently only able to take
credit cards through paypal.com. If you
wish to order by credit card and are not familiar
with paypal's services, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soon we will be taking online secured payments via
credit card. We're working on the logistics now!
Payment can be mailed to Bloom Photography and must
be cleared before the item is shipped.
Money Orders, Cashier Checks:
Payment can be mailed to Bloom Photography. Item is
shipped upon receipt of payment as long as it is in
stock. Otherwise it will be custom printed and
shipped within 7-10 days.