Thursday, November 7, 2013

Narrow Depth of Field

“Photograph to express, not to impress- unless you are paid” 

When it started, when our elders were still using film cameras, underwater photography was meant for underwater creature identification. With limitation of about 36 exposures per-dive and there was no way to evaluate the photo until you got them printed, photographers in that era normally set their camera in small apertures which allows the camera to capture wider Depth of Field and reduces the failure rate of unfocused photographs.

A dancing shrimp where I focused only on its eye.

Nowadays most of underwater photographers are using Digital Cameras, where trial and error are possible in creating photographs underwater. You can have hundreds of exposures and check the result on the spot.

Few years ago, I started creating my underwater photographs in big apertures which I call it NDOF (Narrow Depth of Field) photographs. Although it is more challenging where the range of focus is narrowed down to a few millimetre, but it also makes the object more stands out, or sometime makes the object looks  mysterious.


What I like most from the NDOF photos is we can still get the ambience colour. To me, the pastel colours on the background make the whole picture looks more interesting rather than just black background. That also makes you as the photographer is challenged to be more creative in angling  your lens to get more interesting background colour and also more creative in composition of the photograph. Later I found out that the non-diver “audience” are more acceptable to the NDOF photos rather that the black background, maybe because it keeps them out of the thought of the creepy deep of the Ocean.

Limited focus from forehead to its tip of the mouth with f/32
Limited focus only on its eyes f/4.5

More NDOF picture on my website.

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