Dreamy landscapes

October 31, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I love my landscape images to be pin-sharp front to back. But then again there is space in the creative world for a dreamy landscape. Who says that landscape images always need to be pin-sharp from the foreground all the way to the background? Some may wonder if a landscape image is still a landscape image if the middle-ground and background are out of focus? Well, you tell me.

Perhaps this image is not a good example as the middle-ground and background are not fully blurred. They are just softly out of focus. And so the line between genres becomes blurred (pun intended). I hope that you agree with me that this is still a landscape image. So why did I chose to focus it the way I did? Would you have wanted the middle-ground and background sharply focussed or does this work for you?

          This is an ironic image in the sense I chose an image with sharp thorns to be soft (from the middle towards the back of the image). Yet, because of the sharp focus of the foreground, there is no doubt that these thorns are sharp. By the way, these Cholla thorns stick to everything. I left the middle to the background soft to create a more dreamy scene. I wanted the focus of the viewer to kind of stay with the thorns in the foreground yet I did not want to leave then stuck there. I still wanted to show the expanse and the number of Chollas. I still wanted the viewer to be drawn to the sun and the mountain in the background to a lesser degree. This tension creates a dreamy effect where the viewer's eyes move backwards and forwards all the time. I felt that the sun and the sky suited this kind of image.

          So how do you create this effect? You can use a larger aperture but that would render the sun without the sun star. The best way to get this effect is to use a longer lens and to move closer to the foreground. Wide lenses by default have a deeper depth of field at the same aperture as what longer lenses have. Adjusting the distance between the foreground and the camera would change the depth of field. The closer we are to the foreground the more blurred the background would be and vice versa.

          Therefore, use this to your advantage to create just the right amount of blur to suit the scene. I wanted to create a more dreamy image but I still wanted it to show the landscape. Hence the amount of blur in the image.


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