Focus at different apertures

Similar to the exercise: Focus with a set aperture, the composition would remain the same. But instead of shifting the focus point, the aperture would be opened and closed, the shutter speed changing accordingly (with the camera set to ‘A’ – aperture priority). The aim was show how changing the aperture affects the image. I focused in all instances on the horses shoulder where the paint was starting to flake.


Shot 1 – ISO400, 32mm, f/4.5, 1/500

My first shot was taken at the lowest f-stop meaning the aperture was wide open. In this case f/4.5. The depth-of-field (DoF) was, as a result very shallow. The only part of the image which was entirely in focus was the area which I had focused on as highlighted in the image to the left. Although some others areas (such as the lower part of chain-mail and the horses eye) are creeping in to focus they are not quite sharp. They are not quite in the same plane of focus as my absolute focal point.

Shot 2 – ISO400, 32mm, f/13, 1/60

Shot number two was taken with an f-stop of f/13. This was the middle of my range of f-stops available. Now I can see that others areas have truly come in to focus. The eye of the horse and the chain mail are now clearly in focus. Other areas are also pulling in to a much sharper focus such as the warrior and woman’s head. The poor unfortunate at the base of the frame has also become much more focused in comparison to the first shot.

Shot 3

Shot 3 – ISO400, 32mm, f/25, 1/15

Shot number three was taken at my highest available f-stop which was f/25 meaning the aperture was closed as tightly as possible. As you can see, certainly in comparison to the Shot number 1, the whole frame shows a lot deeper DoF. The boy’s head is now very clear (although not in focus), with the warrior and woman becoming almost completely sharp. The highlighted areas are the areas I feel are in sharp focus.

N.B. The distance between warrior, woman and horse was relatively small in comparison to that between the boy and the horse helping give a pronounced blurring at low f-stop. As the distances become closer together, so the noticeable blurring becomes less obvious to the casual observer.

It is also noticeable that contrast and brightness have  changed with the change of aperture and shutter speed. The shutter speed moved from 1/500 (at the smallest f-stop, aperture wide-open) to 1/15 at the smallest aperture when less light was let in during the exposure.

This image was taken at Haw Par Villa in Singapore.


One thought on “Focus at different apertures

  1. Pingback: Real and Implied Triangles | BA Blog

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