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D.O.F. w/Canon GL2


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#1 Lee Tamer

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:21 PM

Hi, I'm new to this forum and have a question.

This is a screen capture from the Smallville episode Warrior. I want to recreate a scene like this with the background completely out of focus but the main actor in focus.

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I own a Canon GL2, how would I go about doing this on this particular camera?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:47 PM

Hi, I'm new to this forum and have a question.

This is a screen capture from the Smallville episode Warrior. I want to recreate a scene like this with the background completely out of focus but the main actor in focus.

Posted Image

I own a Canon GL2, how would I go about doing this on this particular camera?


That will be tricky to do with such a small sensor but I can tell you how to get as close as possible to that look. First, you want to have the lens wide open. You may have to lower the light level or add ND to the camera to do this. Next, zoom in the whole way. This doesn't actually decrease depth of field but it will magnify the background more giving the illusion that it is more defocused. Third, back the camera up until you have the shot of your actor you like. You might even move both camera and actor to increase the distance between the actor and the background. These three things will give you the least depth of field possible with the camera and give the softest look to the background.
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#3 Lee Tamer

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:05 PM

That will be tricky to do with such a small sensor but I can tell you how to get as close as possible to that look. First, you want to have the lens wide open. You may have to lower the light level or add ND to the camera to do this. Next, zoom in the whole way. This doesn't actually decrease depth of field but it will magnify the background more giving the illusion that it is more defocused. Third, back the camera up until you have the shot of your actor you like. You might even move both camera and actor to increase the distance between the actor and the background. These three things will give you the least depth of field possible with the camera and give the softest look to the background.


Is it best to do it in Manual mode or TV mode? I already have it set 16:9 and in Frame mode. I've experimented it a bit in a low light kitchen and I can only get the background semi-out of focus without blurring the actor too much. Is there a way around that?
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#4 jacob thomas

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 05:26 PM

Is it best to do it in Manual mode or TV mode? I already have it set 16:9 and in Frame mode. I've experimented it a bit in a low light kitchen and I can only get the background semi-out of focus without blurring the actor too much. Is there a way around that?


As you want the aperture wide open you should have the camera set either to Av mode or Manual mode.

If you're in a kitchen you may not have enough space to pull this off, you need to be fully zoomed in on the lens, and cheating the actor away from the background is going to help, both of which you will struggle with if the space is small.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 03:41 AM

All manual all the time, my friend. Anything else is just giving away control of the image.
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#6 Ari Davidson

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 12:28 PM

If you open up all the way you're going to lose a significant amount of resolution. Also, shooting at 2.8 (I think that's open for that cam) you won't be able to get enough of the subject in focus. Lastly what also helps separate subject from background in this shot is contrast in color. The cinematographer is using warm/cool (orange/purple) contrast to isolate the subject. Post your results.

best,

Ari.
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