Puffin Talk - Grimsey Island, Iceland
Nikon D500, 500mm f/4e AFS, f/11, 1/80sec, ISO 1000
Let’s continue yesterday’s discussion about the importance of Depth of Field in image making. In yesterday’s discussion, I promoted the idea when you’re close, even with portraits, you might need to increase the Depth of Field to make sure every important part of your subject is in focus. Birds are especially sensitive to issues with Depth of Field when shooting portraits because they’re beaks are so far from what a photographer usually focuses on, its eye. In this image, even though I’m much further away than yesterday’s, I still need the increased Depth of Field to keep both birds in focus. The compositional choice was made that both birds were equally important meaning both needed to be in focus. That being the case, the aperture size decreases, Depth of Field increase, and corresponding shutter speeds and ISO change as well all as a result of making that compositional choice—making both birds important to the image.
You might notice the lower shutter speed on this image. Even though I’m only shooting at 1/80sec, the image is razor-sharp. This is only because I’m using good long lens technique when shooting this image with my 500mm lens on my tripod. I could write a whole article on how to properly use a long lens on a tripod. In my view, most people don’t get this right and therefore struggle with sharp images. Or, they struggle to use the lens with fast moving subjects. I think there’s a very specific way that’s useful for shooting these types of slow shutter speed images and much faster bird’s in-flight situations.
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