View Full Version : Selective Focus woes

09-03-2006, 10:34 AM
I'm new to photography, but have been having a keen interest for awhile .. just bought my 1st prosumer camera, the Canon Powershot S3 IS and learning how to take photos with selective focus in them.. but failing very miserably...
I've read the tutorials/guides that have been around, but i just can't seem to create any depth of field, or selective focus in my pictures, unless i take super macro shots really really close to an object.. but that is not possible to do with lets say.. a person ...
My current test setting for Arperture n Shutter release timing is, F4.0, 0"8 ..
Is that a typical setting to get a good focus on the foreground, and 'lose' the background? coz what's happening now is everything is clear... foreground and background...
Any useful advice from you seasoned pros would help greatly. Thanks :)

09-03-2006, 12:01 PM
Small sensor digicams have a greater depth of field compared to dslrs and a lot more than slrs so getting the background blurred is always tricky.

Obviously the lens will be sharper in the center of the aperature range, but you could try opening wider and then either zoom into the subject or just shoot from closer to the subject if possible.

If thats not possible then the background will need to be further away to be out of the dof, tricky in nature photography, but with a person you could pose them further away from the background.

If you are getting too much light at wide open aperatures (assuming you are in the sun or in a very well lit studio) then use a neutral density filter.

09-03-2006, 06:22 PM
Ah... thanks for the input Sintares :)
Another observation i had, that might suggest my failure due to some mis-setting ..... Many times, on the viewfinder/LCD, the shot looks exactly the way i want it focused .. but the moment i press the shutter-release to focus it, well, it focuses.. and both foreground and background is sharp ... :s

09-05-2006, 11:26 AM
Use manual focus; and put the camera on full telephoto, Av mode, F/3.5. It will help to have the subject far from the background, also. If you can't use full telephoto, set to the maximum zoom you can and the biggest aperture that the camera allows at that level.

09-06-2006, 10:18 AM
wow...that setting worked very well!!! thanks so much for giving me something to start with!