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Monday, August 18, 2014

Photo Tip Monday: Professional Photos With One Simple Adjustment

Summarizing today's post: Taking professional-looking photographs, aperture and depth of field, adjusting to manual mode.

shot at 50mm, ISO 200, f/3.2, 1/800th of a sec
It's Monday, the dreaded first day of the work week for most of us. Therefore, I'm going to try and make it a little better for you by making you smile. Spooky, our loving pussycat, tends to make folks do just :)

On the first day of the week I try to give you a quick photo tip that you can use to make you photographs just a little bit better. And I've got a good one for you today...and simple too.

If I had to narrow down the single most thing that I could tell you to do with your camera to take a professional-looking shot, it would be to adjust your depth of field. But what is that?

I have touched on depth of field in a recent blog post (see here), so you may want to backtrack for more explanation. But in short, here it is. Do you see how "blurry" the background is around Spooky's face in the photo above? This is an example of a very shallow depth of field. This all but forces the viewer's eyes to her face, which is in crystal clear focus (the only part of the whole photograph that IS in focus).

How did I do that? Here's how...

A professional camera is not needed, however you do have to be able to adjust the aperture (the f-stop number) on what ever camera you are using. So put your camera in manual mode. The quickest way to figure out how to do that is look in your camera's owner's manual.

The larger your aperture (the lower the f-stop number) the more "fuzzy" your background will be. Get in tight on your subject and lower it down to f/3.2 or below. This is what I did with Spooky and it turned out pretty well. Nice and professional looking.

Play around with depth of field. You will take photos that will make your viewers say... "Oh!"

Thanks for reading, and have great Monday!


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