Depth of Field Technique

September 25, 2014

Here is a simple technique to "maximize" depth of field (DOF).

The image below was shot handheld and wide open at f/1.4 using a 50mm Summilux ASPH lens. Notice how the Zumba instructor (on the right) and the students (on the left) both look sharp suggesting a really "deep" DOF?

Just a Party 2014Just a Party 2014

The scene was dark and the subjects were doing a zumba. It was a no brainer that I have to shoot wide open at f/1.4 to get any usable image. I first tried 1/60s but found that insufficient so I went faster to 1/125. The final exposure used was as follows:

  • Aperture: f/1.4
  • Shutter Speed: 1/125s ==> needed to freeze motion (I found 1/60s insufficient)
  • ISO: 1250 ==> you don't really want to use higher on an M9

I then proceeded to shoot two images: one with the focus on the instructor (right); another, on the students (left). Both images were shot with the same exposure and processed exactly the same way (i.e., with the same adjustment settings). The final image is therefore a composite of these two images using masking technique (I used Perfect Mask).


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