Monday, August 30, 2010

Everyday Details

Have you ever wanted to take pictures of details: books, favorite things, meals, etc? This is especially important if you are a blogger and want to post the best photos you can take on your blog.

To achieve great detail shots you'll need:

1) Good light - the quality of light can make or break an image.
In my piggy bank photos, the subject is illuminated by a nice bright window (facing the window.) 

2) Shallow depth of field - using a wide open aperture will focus on the subject matter and leave the background nice and creamy.

3) Shutter speed - to achieve sharper detail images, I generally do not let my shutter speed drop below 1/80. Ideally I like to shoot at 1/100 or faster.

4) Post processing -  I try to keep post processing to a minimum.  However my favorites are a mix of Totally Rad Actions and Kubota Actions. The following images feature: Boutwell Magic Glasses 40%, Midbright 20% and Smarter Sharp.

Time for some photo examples, with my cute little piggy bank.

camera: 5D Mark II
lens: 50mm 1.2 L
settings: f/2.2, 1/100, 50mm, 1000 iso

The above image of Piggy was captured with my beloved 50mm 1.2 L glass lens. L glass is top of the line, professional quality and it's expensive. The good news is there are three different 50mm lenses to choose from. A 50 mm f/1.2 L, 50mm f/1.4 and 50 mm f/2.8 will allow you to have a wide open aperture and background blur. The quality of each lens will affect the end result.

Also, the more expensive the camera, the better the results. The examples below show how the lenses performed on a Canon 40D and a Canon 5D Mark II.

Here you might be able to see the difference in quality between the 50mm 1.8 and the 50mm 1.4.
Both images shot with Canon 40D, f/2.2, 1/100, 50mm, 1000 iso