So this is new. I mentioned to Isaac how I needed to do a tool post about camera lenses at some point this month & look what he put together & surprised me with... a guest post. Too fun. It's kind of technical though, so perhaps we'll need to discuss this in the comments till it all makes sense. I'll make sure Isaac reads the comments & chimes in if you have any questions about photo equipment, lenses, etc. Here's Isaac:
"I get a lot of questions about the equipment I use to create the photos that you see on my website, which is the same equipment used to create photos for this blog. First of all, let me say that Heather is quite a good photographer and does 99% of the photography for her blog herself. That being said, we do share the same equipment and since it is March of the Tools, I thought I'd chime in and share one of the tools that makes my style possible. There is no substitute for a good eye and an active, observant imagination, but certain looks just can't be achieved without the right tool.
When I want to get the effect in the photo of the lavender flowers, where the flowers in the foreground are the only thing in focus and the background seems compressed and close, I use my 70mm to 200mm f2.8 lens. Set at it's longest focal length of 200mm, this lens all but eliminates depth of field. Depth of field is the distance between the first object in the foreground that is in focus and the last object in the background that is in focus. The depth of field is determined by two properties, the focal length of the lens (longer focal lengths -- telephoto lenses -- have less depth of field built in) and the aperture of the lens (f-stop) which is the size of the opening that lets the light into the camera. A very fast lens like this one opens very wide and hence has very shallow depth of field.
A third factor in the look is the effect of compressing the foreground and background, which eliminates a lot of extraneous details from the shot and has the effect of making shots look tightly-cropped in the camera. This is a result of the length of the lens -- imagine looking through a long tube where all peripheral vision is eliminated.
The 70-200 mm f2.8 lens is a bit pricey, but for the serious amateur or pro, it creates a look that can't be replicated by other lenses. While you will not be able to fully achieve this look with a point-and-shoot, try setting the camera on macro focus (it's usually the little flower icon), zoom in as far as your optical zoom will allow, then back in and out until you find the absolute closest place you can focus.
By the way, thank you for all of the compliments on the MEHC article. That was a very intense and fast paced shoot, but extremely fun!"
All of this camera talk reminds me that I never showed you the slideshow from Heather Tinsley's wedding (click here). Heather is a blog reader who
flew Isaac out to photograph her wedding last December. Love that! Hi Heather.
There's certainly nothing discreet about that camera lense up there. I usually use a smaller 24-70mm f2.8 lens because the other one makes my arm ache. They both have a similar effect in my opinion. Similar enough (don't tell Isaac I said so).