We were back in the foyer for tonight’s photo. This time we turned Shannon around so that you would be able to see a different view as well as add a little more background interest. I wanted a different kind of layered photo tonight. For this photo you will notice that Shannon’s feet are set close to the camera and are in very sharp focus. As your eye follows from the feet up her legs you quickly notice that Shannon’s figure is out of focus. This was accomplished by placing the camera very close to Shannon’s feet with a very large aperture setting. Aperture tells the camera how far to focus and how much light to allow onto the film. With a wide aperture the amount of the area in sharp focus is really small. By setting your aperture wide you can control what the subject of your photo is. When your foreground is in focus and the background is blurry it is called bokeh. This technique is widely used in portraiture. You have most likely seen it used with family photos. An experienced photographer will many times place a family or person in front of a very colorful background. With a wide-open aperture the camera will be placed very near to the subject and everything beyond the person will turn into a beautiful wash of color. In figure study this technique can be used as a non-confrontation way to display a model. Some people feel uncomfortable when viewing a figure model in sharp focus.
If you enjoy learning about techniques and composition concepts please take a look at my “The Art of Nude” blog on this site.