Saturday, February 27, 2016

Explorations in Photography: Keeping things in focus

In yet another of Ricky Tims' weekly Photo Challenges, we were to take photos that were "tack sharp", meaning that the entire photo was in crisp focus.  For an image that involves some depth (with some parts of the image being close and some further away), this typically involves using a high f-stop on the camera.  Accompanied by the ever-patient Q, I tramped out in the snow to our local playground to find some shots.  

My original vision had been to take a photo of an empty swing, but that didn't work out.  First of all, swings move, which makes it very hard to get a crisply focused image.  Second, no matter what angle I shot from, there were always distracting elements in the background.  So much for my original vision.  

But Q suggested taking a photo of this springy duck. The duck is somewhat creepy-looking, but with my shadow cast over it, the expression seems more frightened than menacing. Putting the duck in the left edge of the photo gives room for the implied line-of-sight . . . what is it looking at?

(Did you know that there are quite a few unusual examples of playground equipment out there?  A Google search for "creepy playground equipment" brings up a startling array of images, such as these.)

I also took some close-ups of the merry-go-round.  I don't think this is "tack sharp", though -- the front seems in focus, but the back is somewhat less sharply focused.

I took some shots of the jungle gym and the steps up to the slide, too, but nothing emerged as a strong composition.  Finding good photos can be challenging!  After being out in the snow for over an hour, my socks and the knees of my pants were soaked, my feet were cold, and I packed it all in for the day.  

Lessons learned:  Your original vision may or may not work out; be open to other ideas.  And dress for the weather.