Stare Off -152/365

It’s not obvious at first, but this frog is staring at what could be its next meal, a tiny little almost pure white insect.

This morning Livvy ushered me outside, because she wanted to find some little creatures to photograph.

That suited me just fine, of course, and to be honest it fitted with the day ahead because we were hosting a family BBQ in the afternoon, so to get the days shots “bagged” early would be a sensible thing to do.

It really melts my heart when the kids take an interest in the outdoors, there is no better place for them to be, in my opinion, and we are lucky that both our girls love the great outdoors.

After finding loads of wood lice, worms, moths, and various other creepy crawlies, Livvy eventually led me to the pond, where she’d spotted some frogs poking their noses out earlier on.

I love the pond, it’s like a whole world of its own, and when you look closely there is a whole ecosystem thriving quietly, without fuss.

Shooting it really close up, it’s like a totally different world, that could be anywhere on the planet, or otherwise.

I edited today’s images in my usual style, which enhanced that other world “jungle vibe” even further.

I also did some experimenting with depth of field today, because I’ve come to realise, or rather notice, that distance from your focus point effects the depth of field you achieve.

I’m thinking about it more for landscape type shots more than close ups, but it’s easier to see the outcome with close up shots.

It seems to be that the closer you are physically to the point your focusing on, normally your subject, the shallower the depth of field. I first noticed this on my “Cinnabar” post, where the depth of field was super shallow; I was shooting with the aperture wide open, but still the depth of field was shallower than I expected. So much so, the “slice” of focus didn’t even cover the whole moth!

This, was because I was not only shooting with the aperture wide open, but also I was mega close to the moth.

Below are three images shot at the same time, same settings (I adjusted shutter slightly to hold the exposure), same edit; same everything save for the F-stop. Clearly the exposures are slightly different due to the amount of light being let through the aperture, but also the depth of field is visibly changing, which is easy to see, given how close the camera was to the subject.

All shots, edited the same, with 55mm focal length, single focus point on the frogs eye and ISO400.

F/5.6 and 1/80 shutter

F/7.1 and 1/50

F/9 and 1/40 shutter

Learnings – who doesn’t love frogs! Not a learning, I know, just putting it out there.

Anyway, my little experiment taught me a lot about depth of field, something I’m keen to master because it links closely with the sharp focus stuff I’m trying to improve on.

I find it hard at times to see exactly what is and isn’t in decent focus in a landscape shot, without zooming right in and analysing every little bit of the image. Today’s frog close ups helped by magnifying the effect, and it was clear to see that at F/9 the duck weed was starting to become sharper.

Another really fun little adventure, shared with the girls and my camera, life really does bless us at times! X

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