confessions of a macro photographer – dof, cheating & a green silk dress

Things are not always how they seem.. Using the Vivitar 55mm lens talked about in a blog post below, I wanted to take a few shots of some rather pretty flowers. My aim was to have the flowers in focus and the grass behind be completely out of focus, making the flowers really “pop”.

Unfortunately, the position of the flowers in the garden didn’t lend itself to easily making this happen so my only choice was to artificially create that kind of ambience by picking a couple of flowers and taking them into my studio..

By placing my wife’s silk, green ballroom dress into my lightbox as a background, I was able to carefully control the distance between the subject and that background as well as placing the light exactly where I needed it. For all intents and purposes, the final image looks like a flower in focus with a very shallow depth of field back to the grass in the background but as we now know, not a single blade of grass exists in this particular set of images. That blurred background is often referred to as “DOF” or sometimes “bokeh”. Yep, cheating is not exclusive to football!

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