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SCL Photography Podcast 118 - Focus Fracas!

SCL PodcastMy latest car boot bargains, why film is magical, and my thoughts on how we could re-visit focussing and depth of field.

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My Video on Macro Photography using m42 lenses and extension tubes.

Why film is magical....

Focus Fracas

Praktica MTL50 kodak pro 400 speed b&W by Matthew Clark

Praktica MTL50 kodak  pro 400 speed b&W

Over the last couple of years I've talked about the "rules" of composition and how we should learn them then break them, and how we can improve our photographs by adjusting the exposure that the metering system in our cameras suggests.

I've been thinking about how we could apply this to focussing and depth of field. We're taught, and it's accepted practice, to have our main subject in sharp focus, and then everything else could be blurred. What happens when we turn this on its head, and start deliberately pushing our subjects out of focus? 

It could be a slight blur, a  soft focus effect, or the whole way to a completely out of focus shot.

In our era of super-sharp photography, with software that can sharpen our images to the nth degree, maybe we should try a bit of blur....

Cheers, Rob.

What Do You Think?

Have I lost the plot with my ideas about focussing and depth of field? In what ways do you break the "established" rules of photography, whether they be compositional or otherwise. Please add your comments below!

Reader Comments (5)

Hi Rob ,

Great `cast and cheers for the mention , Would this bre the image you were looking for ?

Thanks again


October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Clark

Hi Matt,

Cheers, I've added it to the post above so everyone can see it!

Thanks again, Rob.

October 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterRob_Nunn

Great cast, I really enjoy all the composition ideas Rob, keep up the good work, I am becoming a better photographer for it, or at the very least I'm not getting bored with it.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAb.

Hi Ab!

Glad you enjoy the 'cast, keep in touch!

Cheers, Rob.

October 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterRob_Nunn

I've had a great email from Peter N correcting me on my assumptions about 127 film, so I thought I'd share it with you:

Hi Rob,

I have been a regular listener to your podcasts for some time. I mostly listen on my iPod (now iPhone) during my train travel to and from work. The trip is 35 minutes each way, 4 days a week, and I also listen to several other podcasts, e.g. Film Photography Podcast, so I do get a bit behind sometimes. So please forgive me if the subject I am about to mention has already been mentioned by someone else. Today I listened to your podcast No. 118 wherein you said that you thought that 127 size film is no longer made, and that it might actually be the same as 110 film in a different guise. Firstly, 127 film is still being manufactured by Efke, who sell their 100 ISO B&W film in 127. There is also a C41 colour film called Bluefire Murano 160 which is sold by and maybe some others. The catch with C41 of course is that you will probably have to process your own, because no labs would be set up to do 127 any more. 127 film is 44mm wide and produces negatives 4cm x 3cm, 4cm x 4cm, or 4cm x 6cm, depending on the camera configuration. It is on no way related to 110 film, which is just 16mm wide with a negative size of about 17mm x 14mm and sprocket holes on one edge at a spacing of one hole per frame.

127 film dates from well before World War 2. I have a Kodak Vollenda folding camera which my Dad bought brand new for my Mum’s 21st birthday in 1938, three years before they were married, although I think he ended up using it more than she did over the years. Both my Mum and Dad have gone to God now, but the little Vollenda lives on. It takes sixteen 4cm x 3cm negatives and has two red windows on the back to count the frames because 127 film is numbered on the backing paper only for 8 or 12 exposures. It doesn’t get much use nowadays but I will never part with it for obvious reasons. I also have a Yashica 44LM twin lens reflex which is a sort of poor man’s Baby Rollei. It takes twelve 4cm x 4cm negatives on 127 film. Although I have used the Yashica in the last year, I prefer to use my 120 size cameras which have a much larger negative size and the films are cheaper than 127, purely because of supply and demand.

Keep up the good work. I enjoy listening to your English accent, which makes a nice change from the American accents on most other podcasts.



December 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterRob_Nunn

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