Photography Tips by Ali Khataw - Day 2

Monday, June 19, 2017 Heba Moeen 0 Comments

Guest Post by Ali Khataw

So, continuing with our 10 day theme of not just clicking the camera but thoughtfully making an image, here are the thought processes and setting behind the images shared above.


Top Questions to ask yourself before you make an image:

Question 2/ Day 2 - Would more or less Depth of Field (DOF) tell a better story?

As most of you know the aperture is controlled by the f-stop ring on your lens or in your camera. The aperture refers to the access given to light from the lens to the camera sensor. The size of the aperture (the diameter of the hole through which light enters the camera) controls the amount of light entering your lens. The Depth of Field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and the furthest objects that are in focus.

Large aperture = Small f-stop = Shallow (small) depth of field
Small aperture = Large f-stop = Deeper (larger) depth of field

It may be easier to remember these simple concepts:

  • The lower the f-stop, the smaller the depth of field (greater amount of the backgrounds and foregrounds out of focus)
  • The higher the f-stop, the larger the depth of field (backgrounds out of focus and foregrounds in focus)
Below is a chart that describes in graphical format the relationships between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.

Now lets look at the Cape Buffalo image that I made in Tanzania. The horns of the buffalo had numerous insects flying all over it and my goal was to make sure to make the photograph distinguish between the insects and the background. So basically I wanted a shallow DOF and therefore used the smallest f-stop number to achieve the required effect. As you see the image is tack sharp with the insects completely separated out from the background.

Cape Buffalo:
Camera: Canon 1D-X
Lens: Canon 200-400mm F4L
Aperture: f5.6
Shutter: 1/125
ISO: 400

Lets look at another image of the Zebras. This image was made in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. During the migration season, there are thousands of Zebras moving towards the Mara River. This provides great opportunity to photograph combinations and patterns created by the Zebra stripes. Again, by controlling the depth of field and using a lower f-stop (larger lens opening) I was able to create depth in the image. The last Zebra in the background is out of focus purposely. We as human beings see everything in 3D, but our photographs are only in 2D, so by blurring of backgrounds and foregrounds we create an artificial perception of depth.

Camera: Canon 1D-X
Lens: Canon 200-400mm F4L
Aperture: f5.6
Shutter: 1/125
ISO: 400

Use shallow DOF (smaller f-Stop) to isolate your subjects from the background clutter.
Hope you found this helpful! 

Stay tuned for tomorrow when we will discuss “ISO and GRAIN"!
For more pictures check Ali Khataw's Photography on Facebook 

You Might Also Like