Behind Bars

Lion f3.5, 1/8000, ISO 640 Click for larger view

What do you think these two photographs have in common?

La Brea Tar Pits f5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO 200 Click for larger view

The subject matter of both is potentially dangerous, but that’s not it. The clue is in the title. Both subjects are behind a chain link fence.

The trick to eliminating the fence is a combination of the following.

  • Get as close to the fence as you can
  • The subject will need to be further from the fence that you are
  • Use the widest aperture that you can. If you’re using a DSLR that will be dependent on the lens you are using. It may be f 5.6, f3 or if you’re really lucky a f2.8. The easiest way to do this is to use Aperture Priority mode and dial it to the smallest number it will go to. The smallest number actually represents the widest aperture or shutter opening. What the smaller number is the bigger aperture? 😉  Yeah it’s a math thing. The aperture, expressed as an f stop like f5.6, is actually a fraction so f2.8 is bigger than say f11. If you are using a point and shoot camera where you can’t control the aperture, try using the portrait mode.
  • I have found the most critical piece though is to use manual focus. In autofocus mode your camera is mostly likely to focus on the fence because it’s closer to you than your subject.

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