Working With Depth of Field

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© Ravit Lasman-Lechter

© Ravit Lasman-Lechter

Photo Life is proud to partner with Seneca students to document their journey through the school curriculum. This week Ravit Lasman-Lechter shares about working with depth of field.

Class: Photography I
Assignment: Depth-of-field study
Student: Ravit Lasman-Lechter
Professor: Ray Steinke
Assignment guidelines: Demonstrate an understanding of depth of field.

In my first semester at Seneca, we had an Intro to Photography class. One of our assignments was a depth-of-field assignment entitled, “There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee.” When we got this assignment, I couldn’t help but smile. I love coffee. I thought about how much fun it would be to try and illustrate this concept. It is only now, as I write, that I realize why I was so excited by this assignment: trying to illustrate a concept like this for an ad is a lot like scrapbooking. It is a lot of playing around with items to create an image that sells an idea.

The goal of the assignment was to create an ad that someone would want to put in a magazine.  We had to demonstrate an understanding of depth of field, and we were not allowed to manipulate the image.

I thought, “Perfect! I love coffee. I have tons of travel mugs. I am creative. This will be easy and a blast!“ Off I went. I took out all my travel mugs and some other coffee cups and mugs, and I started to arrange them.  Well, I must admit that though I did not have an absolute image in my mind, I had a kernel of an idea.  However, that kernel that I had imagined in my head about the mugs was not what was appearing in front of me. It certainly was not “ad-worthy.” As a matter of fact, it was downright awful.

© Ravit Lasman-Lechter

© Ravit Lasman-Lechter

So, as often happens when what is my head doesn’t work out the way I want, I try again and somehow try and make it work. I decided to go for a warmer feel.    The first one was a little too warm, but I was certainly heading in the right direction.
The final result (pictured at top) was just what I was looking for and demonstrated that there really is nothing like a good cup of coffee.

The Seneca @ York Independent Digital Photography Program is a two-year diploma course that prepares students for a freelance career and provides them with the necessary skill set to work in a multidisciplinary studio.

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