This exercise explores wide apertures, coupled with long focal lengths and close viewpoints to produce images with shallow depth of field. So far, so easy, but we also have to compose the bokeh rather than ignoring it.
Common technical details: all images are shot with an Olympus E-30, having a crop factor of 2.0. The indoor bowls images are at ISO2000, all others are ISO100. Metering is aperture-priority automatic.
All images were shot in RAW and exported unedited (apart from resizing) from Lightroom.
As first seen. The salt and pepper shakers are reflected in purpose by the sauces in the background, and in shape by the menu card.
A change of viewpoint. Unsuccessful: the rectangular shapes demand a square-on approach.
Square-on and a lower viewpoint to link the elements.
A change of framing eliminates the foreground negative space.
50mm (100mm equivalent) wide open at f/2.8, shutter speeds automatically set between 1/60 and 1/125. My selection is the final image. If I were editing in Lightroom, I would crop to eliminate some negative space at the right, open the shadows a little and set a post-crop vignette to ‘hold in’ the frame edges.
This is my selection. The bell is neatly framed by the distant wheel rim and the position of the foreground elements is balanced in the frame.
First view, concentrating on the shapes of the bell and brake lever. The frame and saddle are distracting in the background
Lowering my viewpoint brings other bikes into frame, setting the subject elements into a context.
At this stage, I realised that the wheel in the bokeh could be a useful framing element.
50mm (100mm equivalent) wide open at f/2.8, shutter speeds automatically set between 1/250 and 1/400.
As first seen. There is another gate in the fence opposite, but there is too much blur to see it.
Moving my viewpoint back gives context by showing more of the foreground gate and reduces background blur, but the background gate is lost behind the chainlink.
Lowering my viewpoint reveals the background gate and also says something about security and unauthorised entry
50mm (100mm equivalent) wide open at f/2.8, shutter speeds automatically set between 1/100 and 1/160.
A few more selected images from the exercise: