📷 Shallow DOF, Chair, Lyrics, Macro

March 6, 2023 - By

Here are 4 photo posts in one… World Travel and hosting provider failures; I’ve not kept up so I’m batching a few weeks into one post.

Shallow DOF

Shallow DOF is challenging with my fastest lens as it really fights against my camera’s autofocus; the “nifty fifty” 50mm f1.8 mark ii still can get great results. This week I came up with two shots; one of this “Truffula Tree” (that’s a Dr. Seuss Lorax reference, I have no idea what this plant actually is).

In the gallery I have another “Truffula” shot with a deeper field for those craving more detail, as well as a close up so you can see how the white core and outermost spires are in focus… Often bees would crawl around in here, but were too quick to shoot well at all (particularly with this shallow focus). I’m not happy with my “after” treatment on the portrait, particularly the colors, but am sharing as a part of my “consistency over perfection” goal for the year.

The extra challenge this week was to shoot at f1.4 which I’ve never been able to do before. Ironically I did inherit one such lens (Sigma 56mm f1.4 for EFM), and it arrived at my door the hour after I departed for Florida. This is hilarious.


The assignment was to shoot a chair with the extra challenge of telling a story. The adirondack chair is the quintessential summer lounging chair, until it’s not. I shot this on my wedding anniversary; it was a good day despite many unplanned setbacks: a snow storm took out the electricity, school was cancelled, kid #2 came down with the flu. I shot this while waiting for the propane camp stove to heat water for coffee. That’s the story this photo will always evoke for me. Some wedding anniversaries are celebrated, others are a limping three-legged race.

I have other angles that I almost chose (another with “snowkeh”), but with 3000 chair submissions I thought an abstract detail shot might stand out


The Police – 1979 hit “Message in a Bottle” (opens a youtube, new tab).

Pretty simple concept. I had better DOF in the portrait shot, but more snow reflected in the bottle. I framed this with extra space to lend to the feeling of lostness. Lake Huron in the background – in this shot we can’t tell where the sky ends!

I froze myself laying in snow for this one, also got a lot of melting snow on my non-weather sealed camera, and it was a bit too adventurous sliding down the luge track that recent freezing rain had made out of a stair way (this is barely an exaggeration – in the moment it was fun—in hindsight, dangerous!). All in all fun! 10/10


This was the most frustrating shot yet; or at least the deadline came on a day where I wasn’t in the mood for doing photography. I tried shooting many things, and was getting the hang of the extra challenge of focus stacking – but I just didn’t like those images. So I did my classic safe-move play and shot a photo of my daughter. This is also rushed at I can see from the high noise.

Shot with 20mm macro tube. I spent a lot of time doing technical work and learning how to focus stack – and didn’t care for any results. When in doubt, I call my patient daughter. On my Instagram I share a meta-version where I also put this photo on screen and used the same macro tubes to shoot a photo of the photo – revealing individual pixels.

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This post was written by Arley