Use a combination of small apertures and wide lens to take a number of photographs exploring deep depth of field. Because of the small apertures you´ll be working with slow shutter speeds and may need to use a tripod or rest the camera on a stable surface to prevent “camera shake” at low ISOs. Add one or two unedited sequences together with relevant shooting data and an indication of your selects, to your learning log.
I have encountered various problems during this exercise. Firstly, I did not have a tripod or a place to rest the camera, so I had to bring the ISO up quite high and the noise on some images is evident. Secondly, it was very windy and also the light was harsh, with big contrast between light and dark areas. I also made a mistake and shoot at an aperture of f/16 which made me need that high ISO when I could have probably get everything in focus at f/11 and gain some speed.
Here is a sequence I took exploring deep depth of field and a brief explanation about the settings:
Image 1: I started off setting my camera to f/16, ISO 400, shooting with a 17mm focal length. This gave me a reading of 1/13s on camera, far to slow without using a tripod. I also felt the image was overexposed and I felt frustrated as I could have compensated that in manual mode and get some more speed. I took the shot anyway, as I think it is good for learning purposes. As I said, I did not think of opening a bit more till f/11 or more to compensate the lack of speed and decided to raise the ISO up to 1000.
Image 2: I did not gain much speed by pushing the ISO up. Not only 1/20s wasn’t enough to get a sharp handheld shot but also the wind was too strong and there was no way the leaves where going to look in focus.
Image 3: Using the same settings as for Image 2, I got a better speed as there was more available light, but still not enough to compensate the movement of the leaves.
Image 4: I moved to another area without changing the settings. At ISO 1000 and with a good section of the image in shadow, the amount of noise is evident.
Image 5: Considering the noise in the previous shot, I changed the ISO again down to 400. There was an even distribution of light in the overall scene so this shot was successful with the parameters chosen.
Image 6: I continued to shoot in a darker area again but as I did not expect the logs to move, I kept ISO in 400. The shutter speed is not great but still manageable at 17mm. I was again in an area of strong highlights and shadows so I had to wait for the moment when the light was not so bright before taking the shot.
Image 7: To finish, I took this shot to show a deep depth of field where the three elements at the front, middle and back planes are in focus.