25 May 2012



About This Photo:
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure: 1/640
Focal Length: 50mm
ISO: 100
Lens: 50mm f/1.4

There's a beautiful park near our home -- within a half mile walk. I love it there, and walk there with Austen as often as I can. Every now and then, I discover something new in the park that I hadn't seen before. It was in a visit just a day before this photo was taken that I walked on a previously untested path and found this bridge.

When I took pictures of it, I tried different apertures and shutter speeds, but had the largest amount of variation with the focus points. You can see how the bridge at the front of the photo is blurrier than the parts of the bridge in the middle of the photo. This is on purpose. I tried different focal points to see which looked and felt best to me. You would most often expect the foreground portions of the bridge to be in focus and the parts behind that to be blurrier. It changes how the photo feels when you switch up what's expected. Instead of the background, the bokeh is in the foreground.

I like it -- I think it points the viewer's gaze ahead, as if to say: take the long view. Don't look just at what's immediately in front of you, but look to what's just a little bit beyond that. I think that's good to do sometimes (in photography, and in life).

* * *

Lessons Learned or Affirmed:

  • Even if you don't think it will work, try out different settings and focal points on a given subject. You might be surprised at what you like.
  • Foreground bokeh can be difficult to do well. Sometimes it's out of place and feels wrong for a given subject. Go with your gut instinct.

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