Tutorial: Alternative Seasonal Photography

Out-of-Focus Images

Your Canon has a highly effective autofocus system but there are occasions when ‘throwing’ the focus gives interesting results.

EF and EF-S lenses have a switch that allows you to turn the focusing to manual. You turn the focus ring (or the front of the lens if there is no focus ring) to bring the subject into focus. Equally, you can turn the ring to make the subject out-of-focus.

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Bokeh-coloured Christmas, You Connect member Antonio Tiani, Canon EOS 40D

Why would you want to take out-of-focus photographs? The technique works best where the subject has many distinct points of light. Coloured fairy lights on an indoor tree are perfect. Take a picture with an out-of-focus lens and the lights create an abstract pattern.

You may notice that the out-of-focus light becomes a polygon. The number of sides tells you how many blades there are making up the mechanical aperture of your lens. This effect is called bokeh and is created by lens aberrations and aperture shape, blurring the image in an attractive way.

Close-up Photography
The festive season is a good time to practice indoor close-up photography. All around will be bright, colourful objects – baubles on indoor trees, decorations – even seasonal food and confectionary.

EOS cameras offer a number of options for close-up photography:
• A close-up lens is easy to use and screws to the front of your lenses
• Extension tubes fit between your EOS and lenses and can offer greater than lifesize magnification
• Macro lenses give life-size images. This is the best choice if you plan to do a lot of close-up photography

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