Have a drink with me!

I don’t know if this is just an Australian or worldwide phenomenon, but Coca Cola down under had put together quite the interesting marketing campaign. If you haven’t seen it, basically they have put the words “Share a Coke With…” and then they have an assortment of different names tagged on the end.

Today was the day I found Matt!

Have a Drink with Matt

1/30 sec at f.1.8, ISO 400
Edited in Lightroom

Some of you may have noticed that the shutter speed is slower than the suggested lowest shutter speed that I mentioned in a previous post. The reason I was able to get away with it was because I could use the table that the bottle was on to help steady my hands.

I took another couple shots, and I’ve decided to post them because they show another important concept in photography. How the distance between the subject and the background changes how out of focus the background can get.

First you need to know that a larger aperture (which confusingly enough is denoted by a small f-stop rather than a larger one) gives you a shallow depth of field which gives you the best chance and throwing the background out of focus. So for my lens, f1.8 is the biggest aperture I can get, so I use that when I want to throw the background out of focus.

Secondly, how close you get to the subject will affect how much depth of field you get. If you set your camera to f1.8 and take a photo of a person from the waist up, you will not get as much of the out of focus effect as you would if you took a closer picture from just the shoulders up. You can see this effect by comparing Photo 1 below with the photo above. The background was the same distance behind the bottle, but since I moved closer the background is only out of focus in the photo above.

Then we come to how far the background is; what I initially wanted to talk about. Often I will see people with big aperture lenses set up their subjects right infront of a hedge or bush hoping that the background will fall out of focus and then they are disappointed when it doesn’t give the look they want. If they just moved their subjects further forward from the background, increasing the distance between the two, they would throw the background more out of focus. On Photo 1 below the background is quite close to the subject (the Coke bottle). In Photo 2, I moved the Coke bottle away from the background just a little bit (5-10cm) and the background is already starting to go out of focus. Part of this is due to the fact that I was slightly closer to the subject (point #2 above), but the distance between subject and background is also playing an important role. My aperture was at f1.8 for all the shots.

Share a Coke Photo 1     Share a Coke Photo 2

Photo 1                                                       Photo 2

Both 1/30 sec at f1.8, ISO 400
Edited in Lightroom

Click on each photo to see a larger version which will allow you to see the difference more clearly.

Give it a try yourself!




8 Comments on “Have a drink with me!”

  1. knudsens says:

    Cool coca cola. We don’t have those here in norway.

  2. Really enjoying your daily photos!

  3. vk says:

    Nice … errr … Pepsi … pictures!

    It is interesting how out of focus you can make the background… I always thought that was the domain of the big lenses.

  4. miltonjohns says:

    These are great pictures Matt. Great detail on how to blur the background. Something I struggled with for years. I could never get my head around big hole, small No. Someone one day told me to think about how many sheep I wanted in focus, lots (f)22 or just one or two (f)2.8. It all clicked into place afterwards. 🙂

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