Shallow DOF for stock


posted on 30th of november, 2011

One of my latest images just sold, and it occured to me that I have very few images with shallow depth of field as a key feature. In some closeups it is enevitable, but I rarely use it as a 'focus' of my stock images. There are a few reasons for this:

1. Lens are a little less than optimal at wide apertures, leading to potential rejections. Macro lenses (such as used in my cookie shot) are exceptions, but most fast lenses will introduce color fringing in out of focus areas.
2. Maximum flexibility, more sales. If a designer picks an image that is sharp throughout they can selectively defocus areas, or isolate the background, etc. If you have blurred edges it is hard to do isolations after the fact. I think an image with thin depth of field has a more restricted market.
3. Bokeh - it can be tricky to get pleasing out of focus areas depending on the lens and aperture. In stock a simple background is better so I usually try to find a simple background rather than try to blur it out.



Give me some examples of images with thin DOF that work for you, or arguments for and against :) I love portraits with shallow depth of field, but I just don't use it much for stock.

Comments (20)

Posted by Imaengine on December 15, 2011
Congrats on becoming the featured contributor!!! Here's some images that I took using shallow DOF as a technique to focus on subject: [imgl]15015352[/imgl] [imgl]15824070[/imgl] [imgl]18352071[/imgl]

Usually, shallow DOF images are rejected for low potential reasons, but I like using this technique and don't let this bother me that much!
Posted by Verdelho on December 07, 2011
Here's a couple. Enjoy. Ken

[imgl]21342293[/imgl]

[imgl]21182029[/imgl]
Posted by Yellowind on December 04, 2011
Yeah, thanks for sharing thoughts and experience. I rethink my work on food and other shooting with bokeh.
Posted by Bradcalkins on December 03, 2011
Thanks for all the photos :)
Posted by Iwhitwo on December 03, 2011
Another example using a bird as I don't seem too take to many shallow depth of field images!
Posted by Iwhitwo on December 03, 2011
Shallow depth of field example.
An example for me would be this shot of a robin in a tree taken at F5.6 with a L series 100 - 400 at full zoom.
Posted by Nantucketphotoart on December 02, 2011
I agree with your reasons for DT to reject DOT photographs. Many of my photographs have been rejected because of DOT when I did this on purpose to emphasize the main subject.
Posted by Nantucketphotoart on December 02, 2011
I agree with your reasons for DT to reject DOT photographs. Many of my photographs have been rejected because of DOT when I did this on purpose to emphasize the main subject.
Posted by Nantucketphotoart on December 02, 2011
I agree with your reasons for DT to reject DOT photographs. Many of my photographs have been rejected because of DOT when I did this on purpose to emphasize the main subject.
Posted by Shopartgallerycom on December 02, 2011
Is not so much accepted but I love images with selective DOF. Your BAKING Cookies are great!
Posted by Peanutroaster on December 01, 2011
I've sold this one:

[imgl]http://www.dreamstime.com/music-notes-classical-sheet-music-image22070318[/imgl]
Posted by Peanutroaster on December 01, 2011
You're right - DOF can be tricky to get accepted. Your example of the cookie dough is great for showing an image that highlights one area. The paint brush also is where you'd expect the focus to be.

I've a lot of "too much of the subject is out of focus". I have managed to get a few accepted by cropping out the out of focus area.

[imgl]22214684[/imgl]
Posted by Kphotos6411 on December 01, 2011
I have submitted many images with selective DOF, all have been rejected. I have noticed for several years that shallow or selective DOF pictures are widely used in magazines and greeting cards here in the US, but they are not welcome on DT.
Posted by Kphotos6411 on December 01, 2011
I have submitted many images with selective DOF, all have been rejected. I have noticed for several years that shallow or selective DOF pictures are widely used in magazines and greeting cards here in the US, but they are not welcome on DT.
Posted by Davidwatmough on December 01, 2011
I have justed spotted your figure of 1900 messages on message boards maybe that keeps you in the public eye and the buyers eyes as well ? David.
PS Whatever is said and done quality counts ! and you've clearly achieved that. .
Posted by Py2000 on December 01, 2011
Some examples with thin DOF that work for me:

 Kid Tattoo  Lifeguard 

I think shallow DOF works great when I do not have much control on the background. It gives better focus/pop on the main subject. Also, it's really not that difficult to take care of the noises or color fringing in the out of focus area in post-processing as those areas are not the crucial part of the images.
Posted by Bradcalkins on December 01, 2011
You have around 2500 images and around 14,000 sales in 3 years on DT ......... which looks to be far far above average.. are you a full time professional photographer ........ or just very smart....... please write a blog explaining the secrets of your success....... David.


Thanks for the nice comment :) The secret, if I have one, is short titles... Have a read of this blog of mine: http://blog.dreamstime.com/2010/04/19/is-keywording-a-self-fulfilling-prophecy-_art32223
Posted by Owaisphotography on December 01, 2011
excellent work
TFS
Posted by Davidwatmough on December 01, 2011
You have around 2500 images and around 14,000 sales in 3 years on DT ......... which looks to be far far above average.. are you a full time professional photographer ........ or just very smart....... please write a blog explaining the secrets of your success....... David.
Posted by Egomezta on November 30, 2011
Thanks for the tips, great images, good luck.



Comments (20)

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Photo credits: Brad Calkins.

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