8 week online workshop
lesson 2
depth of field

I kept waiting for a great shot for this challenge. I was picturing more of a landscape to take advantage of different depths of field. It’s just too cold, rainy and icy here in DC so I gave up and went to a botanical garden for some fun shots today. The first shot of orchid was a close up taken with my 35mm at F/1.8, 1/3200s and ISO at 800. I wasn’t happy with the focus when I zoomed in on it though and I’m not sure why. Ideas? The second shot was my attempt to widen the depth of field enough to read the sign giving the name of the orchid. I bumped the ISO up to 1600, 1/125s and F/13. I think perhaps I should have widened the depth of field even a little more. I’m not sure if the issue with the sign is grain or focus.

OrchidCloseUp OrchidWithSign

My husband, John, and I have been blessed with two wonderful children. Ryan is 4 and Rebecca is 1 and they keep me very busy, but I love it. We live outside of Washington D.C. with our dog Cooper.


  1. Hi Ashley, there are a number of reasons why the focus might have been a little bit out in the first image. Are you using single spot focus area (i.e. the focus is taken from the centre focus point). If not this may be an issue – the centre focus point is by far the most accurate. It could also be that you were a little close to the orchid. Different lenses have different minimum focus distances (how close you can be before the camera can find focus). It doesn’t look like camera shake and it’s unlikely that the subject moved. It also doesn’t look like your focus fell somewhere else so it’s most likely one of the above. If I was to guess I’d say you were a bit close.
    However, even though the focus was a bit off, it’s still a really lovely image. So well done. With the second image you might have tried a smaller aperture (f18 perhaps) to get the signs in focus but as you said it may very well be the digital noise. At an ISO of 1600 the noise would most likely make the sign look much less clear than it would be otherwise.

  2. I love these pictures! Orchids are beautiful

  3. These are lovely. I particularly like the first image with only one flower in focus. It looks like the sort of image you seen blown up on canvas in a beauty salon (or trendy dentist!) The colours are captured really well. I had these orchids in my wedding bouquet, so they always make me feel happy 🙂

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