depth of field

Untitled by Bethany Helzer

Untitled by Bethany Helzer (Or Little Things Can Also Be Creepy)

October 29, 2013 / by

As we continue our creepy photo tour, we explore a detail-oriented photo from Bethany Helzer. We’ll explore how such an emotion can be pulled out of such a tightly framed shot of such a simple subject.

"Lost Screw" by Djura Stankovic

“Lost Screw” by Djura Stankovic (Or Tiny Details That Tell A Big Story)

July 31, 2012 / by

This week we feature the photo, “Lost Screw”, by Djura Stankovic, who is among the Shutter Photo royalty. We’ll explore how Djura tells such an interesting story of (and using) such a simple subject. Read on to be inspired.

"Waving Gold" by Jos

“Waving Gold” by Jos (Or Fun With Depth of Field)

May 22, 2012 / by

Depth of field can be quite a photography tool, but too often we overlook the importance of the background. I’d like to introduce you to a photo, “Waving Gold” by Jos. The photo demonstrates to us how the foreground and blurry backgrounds can be used to enforce a pattern. Read on to see this great photo and learn what else we have to say about it.

"Ponytails and Asphalt Artists" by Aaron Waterman

“Ponytails and Asphalt Artists” by Aaron Waterman (Or The Story of Context)

April 10, 2012 / by

Candid portraits are a fantastic way to capture emotion and tell a simple story. But when the face isn’t perfectly visible, you need to offer some context. That is what we focus on this week when we speak about Aaron Waterman’s photo, “Ponytails and Asphalt Artists”, Read on to learn about what body language and context can do for a candid portrait.

"Dried Flowers" by D. Travis North

Depth of Field: Your Camera’s Viewfinder Cannot Be Trusted

October 27, 2011 / by

Depth of field is one of the most coveted tools in a photographer’s toolkit.  Creating a perfect depth of field – one with the right depth and focused just perfectly – is an essential skill.  Unfortunately, for many, learning how to predict and use depth of field most effectively is a difficult task.  The task is only made more difficult by the misconceptions about your viewfinder.  In short:  Your viewfinder cannot be trusted for Depth of Field accuracy. Why It Can’t Be Trusted… The viewfinder is a dark and cavernous space.  Well, not really, but it eats light all the same – even those with good quality pentaprims – the glass prism that bounces the view through the lens up to your eye.  Some entry level cameras use a pentamirror (mirror box prisms) – a reflection system made up of mirrors instead of glass – which tends to be less efficient with the light.  I could easily turn this into a discussion as to why you should get a camera with a good viewfinder, but that is besides the point.  While a good viewfinder certainly helps, the truth remains the same:  Light in the viewfinder is still a limited resource. […]

"Christmas Carols" by Dusty Brown

“Christmas Carols” by Dusty Brown

January 04, 2011 / by

The holiday season has officially passed, but its now that we get to see all the great photographs that were taken during this exciting time. The use of bokeh is incredibly popular this time of year.  But photographer Dusty Brown, a newcomer to the Shutter Photo @ Flickr Group, took this bokeh shot to the next level.  In his photo, Christmas Carols, he used the bokeh lights as a backdrop and introduced a more interesting subject. Maybe it’s because of all the pretty little lights that are around, maybe it’s because we’re trapped indoors with lower light levels forcing us to use wider apertures, but every photographer ends up experimenting with bokeh and lights this time of year.  Unfortunately, many people stop there and shoot just the light.  Interesting photos result, but rarely do we take it to the next level like Dusty. When composing a photograph, we often think about the subject and forget about the context.  Some might wish to make the blurred lights the subject.  But there’s no follow-through.  Why not simply integrate them into the photograph as context like Dusty did here.  Context is incredibly important.  The figurines in Christmas Carols would have been impressive unto […]

"Evening Backyard Walk" by Sue Thompson

“Evening Backyard Walk” by Sue Thompson

July 13, 2010 / by

DANGER! Sue Thompson, a perennial at the Shutter Photo @ Flickr Group, has a new camera. And it hasn’t hurt her at all. We once again spotlight one of her macro photographs for this week’s inspiration. We also learn an important lesson about how equipment affects our work.

"Rivets" by David Clark

“Rivets” by David Clark

May 25, 2010 / by

Though my own attempt at a Photo 365 Project has failed, I still follow all of the daily photo blogs that have sprung up.  None has given me more joy and inspiration than David Clark’s.  My own struggle with a daily photo project was that I was not satisfied with each and every one of my own works.  Though David has admitted the same frustrations to me, he clearly has found a way to be inspired every day.  He has found a way to create aesthetically pleasing works of art on a daily basis.  It is difficult for me to practice restraint each week – when selecting each week’s inspiration from the Shutter Photo @ Flickr Group – not to select one of David’s photos.  It’s not that I don’t want to share his works, but it would be difficult to prove that I didn’t have any biased towards his work.  But in the middle of May, David posted this photo, Rivets, on day 132 of his project.  And it struck me – any bias that I have is deeply rooted in David’s skill and his well trained eye.  So it wouldn’t be fair to keep Rivets from our readers […]


Take Advantage of Depth of Field to Make Things Disappear

November 25, 2009 / by

Narrow Depths of Field can add a professional touch to your photos, and it is certainly fun to play with. But did you know that it also has magical capabilities? It can make things completely disappear. Don’t believe us? Read on to see how (and to see some evidence.


Proper Manual Focusing Technique

November 18, 2009 / by

As one who did not have the benefit of autofocus for the first 12 years working with a camera, I can say that autofocus is overrated. Learn to manually focus with your camera with this short tutorial about how to (and why you should) use manual focus more often.