The end of last year I discovered Photochallenge.org. This is a small group of photographers who set forth a weekly challenge to other professional and amateur photographers. What I was drawn to with this weekly assignment is that is pushes you to try new techniques and get out and take pictures on a weekly basis. I plan on taking part again this year and will also do a quick blog post about each of them. The rules of the challenge do require that these are new pictures, not from your back catalogue. With my busy work schedule, I may not be able to get out each week and do this, so I will likely add a few of my older photos on the blog--taking the opportunity to look at the plethora of pictures I've taken and actually do some processing and weeding.
2016 Photochallenge #8: Depth of Field Blur
I love macro photography which tends to take advantage of this method, focusing in on the star of the show and usually leaving much of the background as a blur. However, this week I didn't have my macro lens with me and had to make due with a versatile lens. On a rare 50 degree day in Minnesota, while visiting St. Paul for Winterfest (a crazy 2 day Minnesota beer festival) we set out to explore. Most of the shots I took were architectural since St. Paul has a lot of unique old buildings and the riverfront. Remembering this challenge I took a close up shot of large sandstone blocks that made up a stepped seating area by a small band shell on Raspberry island. I focused in on a cracked section of the stone, leaving the surrounding stone a bit blurry. Not quite as blurred out as I wanted, but it does the job of bringing attention to the sharper cracks in the shot.
I went through my back catalog and found another couple of shots that make use of this technique as well.
This close up of the fuzzy leaf texture uses the technique to draw attention.
This flower shot (about the size of a nickle in real life) also uses the blur effect. Some would say that the blurry flower behind the central focus is distracting, but I kind of like it since it gives a sense of this being a cluster of flowers and not just a disembodied bloom.
And this is probably my favorite! The sharper focus on the bee hard at work harvesting nectar from this large sunflower with the blurry edges make for a fun shot. It also makes me look forward to summer!