Exercise 2.7

Use a combination of small apertures and wide lens to take a number of photographs exploring deep depth of field. Because of the small apertures you’ll be working with slow shutter speeds and may need to use a tripod or rest the camera on a stable surface to prevent ‘camera shake’ at low ISOs. Add one or two unedited sequences, together with relevant shooting data and an indication of your selects, to your learning log. Achieving deep depth of field might appear easy compared to the difficulties of managing shallow depth of field. We’re surrounded by images made with devices rather than cameras whose short focal lengths and small sensors make it hard to achieve anything other than deep depth of field. The trick is to include close foreground elements in focus for an effective deep depth of field image. Foreground detail also helps to balance the frame, which can easily appear empty in wide shots, especially in the lower half. When successful, a close viewpoint together with the dynamic perspective of a wide-angle lens gives the viewer the feeling that they’re almost inside the scene.
Liverpool Street Station at f16
It would have been very easy to choose a rural vistas for this exercise as I live in the east Anglian Country side. I purposely choose to do something different I am exploring the idea of documenting parts of my life and this presents opportunities, indeed challenges to me to think and shot differently as part of this course.

In looking at this exercise I chose an 18mm (27mm equivalent on a 35mm format camera) wide angle lens and set its aperture to f16, its slowest f ratio. Even with the cameras ISO set to 2200, this still yielded shutter speeds of between 1/4 and 1/12 of a second. Using the hand rail on the upper balcony rail of the arrival and departure hall at Liverpool Street station as a makeshift support for the cameras I was able to record the scene. tripods are forbidden in this space so I was improvising! whilst there is some movement as subjects moved during the exposure , the station building and furniture are sharply frozen in time form the front to the back of the sen

The scene had the appropriate level of depth as required in the exercise and I thought it would be a test for the lenses resolving power at it narrowest aperture.. The images show the effect of a wide lens and narrow aperture, there is a wealth of detail and depth in the foreground, mid ground and in the distance. My choice of subject did throw in some interesting effects though. With the relatively long exposures some of the people in the images have been frozen because they remained still, but those that were walking are blurred. The overall effect  creates a kinetic sense of movement and action of people in motion within the the scene, whilst still freezing the station. These are deep depth of field images, showing the effect of the smallest prepare on the lens. I was reminded of the photographers of the Group f64*  seeking to capture the maximum level of detail in images, trying to capture a new perspective on reality, using photography to make a statement about a new art.

At f16 I was not quite eligible for the group!

Liverpool Street 1 (1 of 1)

18mm f16 at 1/4 sec

A selection of the unprocessed images

Liverpool Street 1 (1 of 1) 

 18mm f16 at 1/10 sec

Liverpool Street 3 18mm f16 1-12 (1 of 1)

18mm f16 at 1/12 sec

Liverpool Street 3 18mm f16 1-12 (1 of 1)

  18mm f16 at 1/10 sec

Liverpool Street 5 18mm f16 1-40 (1 of 1)

18mm f16 at 1/40 sec *

Group f64 where a group of American landscape photographers in the early 20th century whose style and approach was to produce very sharp well framed realist ( some times called a modernist style) landscape views of the United States. There was an epic sense of the American wilderness in their work that said something about the place beyond the mountains  and forests pictured in their images. some members of the group were also known for the outspoken views about what they saw as less authentic pictorialist images. The tensions between Adams and Key exponents of the group were Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham.


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