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04-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #16
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best bet is to focus on the middle of the car and use various apertures to see what happens, you may want to consider that (at least for me) a very out of focus background could be just as distracting its better to look at a blury tree rather than a double tree, you could try using a longer lens or stop down 1 or two stops

04-18-2008, 08:02 AM   #17
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Here are four useful rules:
  • The smaller the aperture number the smaller the DOF.
  • The longer your focal length the smaller the DOF.
  • The closer you are to the subject the smaller the DOF.
  • One-third of your DOF is in front of the focal distance and two-thirds is behind.

If you use a 100mm lens at f/4 from 5m away your DOF will be 40cm.

If you use a 70mm lens at f/4 from 5m away your DOF will double to 80cm. (Lesson: reducing focal length a little makes a big difference.)

If you stop down to f/8 your DOF will double again to 1.6m.

If you are shooting at an angle to a car this might be enough to get things sharp front to back. If not, stop down more. Bring a tape measure or examine test shots in your LCD closely.

Final tips:
  • If the background is a good distance behind the car it will be blurrier.
  • Light your subject with off-camera diffused fill-flash to make it "pop" out better. (Light should reach subject but not background.)
  • Use a polarising filter to get through the windshield.

Last edited by rparmar; 04-18-2008 at 08:08 AM. Reason: clarifications and reformatting
04-18-2008, 08:06 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Here are four useful rules:
  • The smaller the aperture the smaller the DOF.
I think you might want to spcify smaller aperture number
04-18-2008, 08:09 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by simons-photography Quote
I think you might want to spcify smaller aperture number
Thanks! I was in the midst of editing the post when you caught that error!

04-18-2008, 11:52 AM   #20
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Thanks for the help everyone, this forum is a wealth of information. As for when I go out tonight I am going to give some of these things a try.

Wish me luck.
04-18-2008, 03:57 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Use a polarising filter to get through the windshield.
Or a crowbar.
04-19-2008, 01:08 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Or a crowbar.
hm more costly than the polarizer me thinks
04-21-2008, 08:14 AM   #23
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Simple answer is your CAR is longer than your Depth of Field (DOF). You have to take that into account when taking your picture. If you were taking apicture of a face, for example, it would be simple as you ( or the auto focus) would focus on the nose ..preferably the cheek bone... or some other part of the face... even if your DOF was, for example, 4-8" @ f/2 it would seem like the whole head is infocus. Cameras are wonderful, but they cant tell WHAT you are photographing. So, if you used the same APPERTURE as you did for photographing a face.. will will get the SAME DOF...(in the previous example (4-8") everything out of that range will begin to blur... and a car is much bigger than 8" ....
so what you want is an apperture setting with a DOF of roughly 1/2 the size the car. focus the camera at some "center" point within the car. The car should then be in sharp focus... while the background will remain blurry .

hope this helps

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