I was walking in my backyard, watching the longhorns graze in the pasture behind what is designated the ”backyard” by a chain link fence. Longhorns are fairly docile creatures but they do have a temper, as well. These photos I captured of Cactus, Annie, and Cloris off in the distance are simply snapshots of these creatures. I love their coloring and the light from that day illuminated them well.
When looking around a room or at a movie screen, it seems as if everything is automatically in focus. That’s the amazing ability of the human eye! It is constantly refocusing and changes its length to bring its surroundings in focus. Much like a camera lens, its ”aperture” or pupil changes size in order to let more light or less light in, to create an even exposure. When you are in a dimly lit room, do you notice that the people around you have really large pupils? That’s because the human eye needs more light to be let in in order to see well in the dimly lit room. The opposite occurs when it is bright out on a sunny day, pupils decrease in size, as to let in as little light as possible. This way, you are constantly seeing an appropriate amount of light and are not blinded by the light or darkness.
This last image may have your head spinning, as you try to put some pieces of the image into focus. I did this purposefully. I wanted to take advantage of my camera lens stopping down to 2.0, focus on an area of my image that I wouldn’t normally and explain to you all the reasons I photograph the way that I do.
In order to bring ”life” to my images, I ensure that eyes and key areas of their body are properly in focus. Now, not every area of the image can be completely in focus, as it seems to be when looking on to someone with the naked eye. This is because, as I mentioned earlier, the human eye is constantly adjusting to bring objects into focus. In one instant, however, a camera does not have the ability to bring every piece of an image into focus. Changing the aperture and f-stop can increase the depth of field, causing more of the image to be in more focus, but the entire image will not be completely in focus within the moment the shutter closes.
If you do see a photograph that is entirely in focus on a tiny flower, with every rain drop crisp and clear, that is due to a compilation of images. In this case, the photographer compiled or layered several images on top of one another. When capturing these images, it is very important to keep a constant exposure and precisely adjust the focal point in the image. That way, the image is clear in the places the photographer desires. I have experimented with my depth of field for a very long time and I have found that I love to stop down as much as I can, without taking away from an image. There are many cases where there can be too shallow or too deep a depth of field. It all depends on what your subject matter is, the locations the objects are, and their distances from each other. That all comes in to play when editing in the camera and figuring out where you want your aperture and f-stop to be.