This is a composition and technique based photography challenge. I think you’ll find this one fairly difficult. While there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to this challenge, I’ll offer you some guidance and examples for the best results possible. Really though, it’s your imagination that’ll bring this one home. The reason I say this challenge will be difficult is because it’s somewhat easy to take a photo of lots of stuff. When it comes to minimizing objects in your scene, that’s when things get tough. It’s sort of like when your teacher asks you to write an essay, but to use only one side of one piece of paper. That’s more difficult that it seems.
Here it is. The challenge is to take the most simple photo of only one object as you can. Whether this be a blade of grass, a leaf floating on a pond, or a snowflake, it really doesn’t matter. The trick is to first choose a simple subject (or a complex subject that you make simple via photographic technique) and then to isolate that subject through your use of depth of field. As you may already know, depth of field is calculated by your camera’s distance from your subject as well as your aperture setting. The closer you are to your subject, the shallower the depth of field. The farther away, the deeper the depth of field. This is why it’s so easy to take sharp photos of far away mountains, even when using a large aperture. Because of the distance of the mountains, the depth of field is deep. The same is true for close ups. Even when you’re using a small aperture, you’ll still end up with a relatively shallow depth of field. This is because of the close proximity of your camera to the subject.
Hint: When attempting to isolate subjects in photography, depth of field is used to add blur or bokeh to the foreground and background of the scene. It’s meant to remove distraction by making those areas softer than the primary subject. For normal photos, such as ones taken from just a few feet away, it’s best to use larger apertures (lower numbers) to achieve this. Either that, or you can simply move closer to your subject.
I’ve got a few different examples for you below. Use them as inspiration. Notice how the focus and settings of the photographs isolate the subjects.
If you’ve got a subject that’s very small, feel free to use a magnifying filter or a macro lens to capture the image. Just remember that when using magnifying filters very close up, your depth of field will become microscopic.
When you complete this challenge, be sure to comment and link to your images down below for review and critique. Include your specs as well, such as your camera make and model, lens used, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. We want to know it all so we can get a grasp of what went on while you were shooting and how you managed to take your photos.
Also, I’ve added a few links to the bottom of this post to help you out when it comes to depth of field. Please read at your leisure.