The beauty of f/6.3

The beauty of f/6.3

The beauty of f/6.3

This stunning, albeit plump, Blonde was very honoured to pose for me although jealousy overcame one of her girlfriends and our shoot was photo-bombed several times. Ok, so the light is nice, the horse is being good and I have composed it nicely with my 50mm Carl Zeiss. But what excites me most about this image is the DOF. From the face of the horse to the tails is beautifully sharp, but everything else in the image is a subtle blur, just enough to see the landscape and just enough to give an indication of distance.

Icelandic horse

The lens is a Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Manual Focus Lens for Canon EOS Cameras. My method for focusing was to estimate the distance of the nearest leg and dial this into the lens. It was fairly hit and miss because they would often walk quickly towards me. Aiming for the first leg means that the DOF at f/6.3 will include the eyes and tail. When the focus is right it is fantastic and rewarding.

In this next pic, the group of adults eating are photo-bombed by this cheeky chappy…
Icelandic horse

Getting attention

Again you can see how the f/6.3 has given the distant objects a gentle, realistic blur to obligate your attention to the baby. Or, you could twist that and say that the foal commands your attention and your attention demands that the foal is sharp. How would you feel if the background horses were sharp and the foal blurry? Would you keep or discard the image?


In situations where you want to isolate a large subject, like a horse, ice berg or motorbike, f/6.3 has the great mixture of background blur and sharpness. But remember to get the best out of it and focus a third into the object.

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