Anatomy of a photo #15: Frosted Fence

Notice the very shallow depth of field

This early morning picture of a frosted fence illustrates the affect that aperture can have on a photograph. The closer you focus to where you are standing, the shallower your depth of field will be. For this photo I had my aperture as wide as it would go (f 4.0) with the lens I was using (70 mm). This medium long lens, mixed with the very wide aperture gives the image an especially shallow depth of field.

If I was farther from the point I was focusing on, more of the fence would be in focus. Likewise, if I stopped down the aperture somewhat- even to f 8.0 or 12, you would notice a fair difference in how much more would be in the focused range.

I placed the focal point off center. I also found a spot where the fence had a slight bend. Imperfections such as slight curves can be more interesting than straight lines. They can lead the eye around the picture instead of just along a single line.

For exposure, I am almost overexposed on the sunlit sky (it is only a hair from being burned out), but almost underexposed everywhere else. My camera’s exposure meter actually says I was overexposed by 2/3 of a stop, but that is because of the false reading from the brightness of the sky. The exposure meter doesn’t lie, but it can be misleading, as it isn’t always reading on what we want it to.


About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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4 Responses to Anatomy of a photo #15: Frosted Fence

  1. ljr3 says:

    Thanks for the insight. I’ve been trying to get up the nerve to fiddle with my camera’s auto settings and experiment. I’ll have to give this a try.

  2. nonoymanga says:

    Fascinating photo. Good day Nonoy Manga

  3. janechese says:

    Love the shot and where you chose to focus. Very timely as I am taking an on-line course and studying lens and focal length right now. There is something about old fences that beg for B/W. Are you using a prime lens or zoom?

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