#beinspiredby: Blurring the Foreground

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

We all know that a shallow depth of field allows you to throw the background in am image out of focus.  This is a great way to keep your subject as the main focus in the frame without distracting elements in the background drawing the viewer’s gaze from it.

We also know that the same shallow depth of field can be used to throw the foreground in a frame out of focus helping you to create depth into the frame and showing more of your subject’s environment.

We do, don’t we?

Remember that when you lock focus on a subject, depending on the various factors that influence depth field, you will blur one third in front of and two thirds behind your subject.  Read this blog (and this one) for a bit more details if you are not sure how this works.

So for this week we would like you to share wildlife images in which the foreground is blurred out and, at the same time, adds to the overall look and feel of your image.

#beinspiredby:  Blurring the Foreground

Here are a few examples of blurred foregrounds with some details on each.

#beinspiredby: Blurring the Foreground

To create the above image I focused on the Wild Dog in the back and dialed in an aperture of f/4 while using a 300mm focal length which created a shallow depth of field which blurred the animal in the front.  The image is about the Dog in the back but the out of focus one in front adds a lot to both the depth of the image and story.

Depth of Field in Wildlife Photography - Wild Eye

In the image above I intentionally included the out of focus trunk in the image.  Not only does it make the youngster seem more protected but it also create nice depth into the frame.  This was shot at an aperture of f/4 and a focal length of 200mm.

Depth of Field in Wildlife Photography - Wild Eye

This image, the most extreme example of blurring the foreground, was created using an aperture of f/7.1 at a focal length of 600mm.  The buffalo was very close to us but behind a green thicket.  By manual focusing on the animal I was able to blur the foreground creating a soft, green haze over the frame.  Nice trick to play with!

How to Share Your Images

If you haven’t shared your images in the past,  here’s how it works:

  • Look through your images and select some of your images in which the foreground have been blurred.  
  • Process or reprocess them like you normally would using your favourite post-processing software.
  • Go to the Wild Eye Facebook page
  • Post your image there using with this heading: #beinspiredby:  Blurring the Foreground
  • In the description tell us what aperture and focal length you used and feel free to include any other information about the images.
  • Check the Facebook page throughout the weekend to see some of the other images that people are uploading.
  • Next Monday I will then choose 5 of my favourite images and share them on the blog.
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And that’s that.

Instead of trying to always get a clear shot of your subject why not think out of the box and try to include something in the foreground?

Not only will your frame have more depth but, even more importantly, your stories will have more depth.

We look forward to seeing your images on the Wild Eye Facebook page.

Happy sharing!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt 

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