Project: Getting to know your camera

Exercise: Focus with a set aperture

The aim of this exercise is to see which effect it has to focus on different distances in your view. To have the strongest effect in the photographs it was best to use the widest aperture possible, so I thought it would be a good idea to try out my 50mm lens again.

Armed with glasses and different kinds of lemonade, I made a scene in which it would be easy to see the different focuses. I had to use indoor lighting again, hopefully soon I'll be able to go outside to do some other exercises.

The lens doesn't have an automatic focus and that was quite a challenge. The camera does show when the chosen focal point is sharp, but sometimes I still didn't find it sharp enough. But it was a really good way to practice working with this lens. It's nice to see how little light it uses  to get such sharp images. I took all photographs with an aperture of f1.4 and a 1 sec shutter speed.

It's interesting to see that the focused part of the photograph immediately draws the attention, even when there are other objects closer by, or other colours that are more striking on the photograph as well. Obviously our eyes like to see things sharp. I prefer the picture with the focus on the glass with the green lemonade. Because it's the first in line and sharp, it conveys the full idea of what the objects are all about.

This exercise did show that even though something is not the first thing visible in a photograph, by making the it sharp, you can still let it draw all the attention. It will come in very handy if there's a scene with lots of details, but only one thing of which you think the image is really all about.