01 May 2020

Landscape Photography Training Milnerton

Landsscpe Long Exposure Photography Training Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Copyright 01

Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Training Milnerton, Woodbridge Island

Vernon Chalmers facilitates beginner / intermediate level Landscape / Seascape / Long Exposure Training Courses at Milnerton and Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - with guided sunrise and sunset shooting sessions.

Training Dates: To be confirmed with individual delegates

Delegates are welcome to attend Sunrise and / or Sunset Sessions.

Training Cost: R2 450 per delegate for up to four sessions (two to three practicals)


Self Catering Accommodation Milnerton
Vernon Chalmers photography training is facilitated from a self-catering apartment in Arnhem, Milnerton (opposite Woodbridge Island) with an option for local and international photographers to overnight during the various training sessions. Optional accommodation will be calculated at reduced rates into the Photography Training Proposal / Invoicing. More Information

Photography Training Gift Voucher
Landscape / Long Exposure training is available as a Birthday / Christmas Gift training option with a one year validity period. It could also form part of general Canon camera training option as well. More information

Method of PaymentPayment Options>>

Booking: Contact Vernon Chalmers 

25% discount for delegates who made any previous booking(s) via the Vernon Chalmers Website

Membership to the Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town Support Group

Delegates during a Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Milnerton Beach Photo Credit Steve Williams
Delegates during a Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Milnerton Beach
Training Objective / Training Level
For assisting the developing photographer with the understanding and application of intermediate to advanced landscape / long exposure settings and techniques (with ongoing Landscape Photography Training support).


At the end of the workshop / practical sessions you should be able to understand / grasp the techniques required to get the most from your own gear / and take your own photography to the next (more advanced) level. 

For Canon APS-C / Full-Frames DSLR bodies / lenses
The Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop will start with exposure / focus settings with reference to APS-C and Full Frame bodies) and then up to three practical sessions at Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Beach: a sunset session and again at sunrise and / or sunset session. Delegates are welcome to attend all three practical sessions.


Workshop Contents / Learning Areas
  • Introduction 
  • Camera Bodies / Lenses 
  • Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Exposure / Focus Settings 
  • Long Exposure Techniques
  • Tripods / Remote Releases
  • Filters Overview / Application 
  • Composition Guidelines
  • Introduction to Landscape Panoramas
  • Copyright / Online & Social Media Publishing
  • Practical Sessions (Milnerton Beach / Woodbridge Island)

Canon DSLR Camera Body / Lens Requirements
Any Canon EOS DSLR camera body with an ultra-wide / wide angle lens in ie. 10-18 / 18-55 / 18-135mm focal length APS-C format or Full Frame ie.16-35 / 24-70 / 24-105mm focal length will be suitable. Feel free to contact me if you're not sure.

Tripod
A sturdy tripod will be mandatory for the low light / long exposure sessions.

Cost: R950-00 per delegate for up to four sessions

Contact Vernon Chalmers for more information

All Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town promotions, bookings, and logistics are facilitated by Vernon Chalmers.

(Click to Enlarge)

V&A Waterfront Sunrise - Canon EOS 700D / 18-135mm Lens
V&A Waterfront Sunrise - Canon EOS 700D / 18-135mm Lens

Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Cape Town - October 2016
Sea Point Sunset - Canon EOS 6D / 16-35mm Lens 

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Lagoon (Canon EOS 6D)
Table Mountain / Cape Town Before Sunrise - From Milnerton Beach (Canon EOS 6D)

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Lagoon, Cape Town (Canon EOS 6D)

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach (Canon EOS 700D)
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town (Canon EOS 700D)

The Wooden Bridge  Woodbridge Island After Sunset (Canon EOS 6D)
The Wooden Bridge  Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - After Sunset (Canon EOS 6D)

Photography Private Training Courses Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More 
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More

Thoughts on Memory Cards and Card Readers

Canon EOS 700D with SanDisk Extreme PLUS 32GB 80MB/s SD Memory Card - Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
Canon  EOS 700D with SanDisk Extreme PLUS 32GB 80MB/s SD Card
I receive a fair amount of questions on the purchase of memory cards and memory card readers.

Although I discuss this topic in my camera / photography training, herewith a few thoughts on what cards and card readers I use (with recommendations).

For most of my photography like the birds in flight (fast action), landscape, macro and a few motorcycles and people captures I mainly use the following Compact Flash (CF) and Secure digital (SD) cards:
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card
  • Lexar Professional 32GB 800x / 120MB/s CF Card
  • SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB 95MB/s SD memory Card
  • SanDisk Extreme PLUS 32GB 80MB/s SD memory Card

The two CF cards are used for fast action, although I've used both the SD cards for birds in flight (depending on camera). I've also used my SanDisk 45MB/s SD Cards for landscape photography without any issues.

Birds in Flight Photography SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card
Birds in Flight Photography SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card
There are faster and higher capacity cards on the market, but for what I do, with my cameras, I have no problems ito speed or reliability of card (or brand).

My recommendations these days are a 600x (95MBs) CF or SD card for most genres and 800x (120MB/s) or faster for faster action (i.e. birds in flight photography).

32GB / 64GB RAW - Birds in Flight Photography
Shooting in RAW with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (+- 26MB per image) in Continuous Mode / IA Servo the total amount of images per card (CR2 is the RAW file standard created by the Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital camera and saved on the memory card):
  • +- 2500 CR2 RAW Images with SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card
  • +- 1300 CR2 RAW Images with Lexar Professional 32GB 800x / 120MB/s CF Card

Shooting in the JPEG file format with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II (+- 6MB per image) will be more than double to total amount of images per card.

Read: How Many Photos Can a 32GB / 64GB / 128GB / 256GB Memory Card Hold?>>

Using a 32GB or 64GB (or larger capacity) will depend on shooting style and camera memory card options.

Canon EOS 6D Landscape Photography with SanDisk Extreme PLUS 32GB 80MB/s SD Memory Card Copyright Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D With SanDisk Extreme PLUS 32GB 80MB/s SD Card 
I've used above mentioned cards for up to 5 years in various cameras with zero memory (image) loss and or other technical issues.

Your camera retailer / sales consultant should also provide more information / options pertaining to your specific camera and genres.

USB Memory Card Readers

I use the following USB 3.0 Card Readers with all my cards / and images from all my Canon EOS bodies:
  • Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3 Card Reader
  • Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader

I prefer downloading images via the Card Reader and not the camera's USB cable. Its faster and more convenient in both my personal and training workflows.

For anybody is interested in getting a Card Reader. Both are available from Takealot (for a price comparison):
  • Lexar Professional Dual-Slot USB 3.0 Card Reader Takealot
  • Transcend TS-RDF8K USB 3.0 Multi Card Reader Takealot

Short article on the inexpensive Trancend Multi Card Reader

My verdict on the Trancend Reader: "its fast, inexpensive and reliable - I've downloaded thousands of images from all my cards with zero issues"

Contact me for any additional information on Memory Cards and / or Card Readers.

Close-Up Photography with SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB 95MB/s SD memory Card - Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography Canon EOS R
SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB 95MB/s SD Card - Canon EOS R Kirstenbosch Garden

Canal Walk Century City with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens

Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Images: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens

Objective: Demonstrating application of the relatively new and inexpensive Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM Ultra-Wide zoom lens mainly in an interior mall environment to assess Image Stabilization / Image Quality in Av Mode f/8.0 and Auto ISO (paired with Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera body).

Location
Canal Walk Century City Milnerton Cape Town

Equipment (Landscape Photography)
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body
  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • Aperture: f/8
  • Auto ISO 100 - 320
  • Shutter speed: various (up to 30 seconds)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Auto focus (lens)
  • Zero post-processing

(Click to Enlarge)
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens


Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens


Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens


Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens


Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens


Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens Canal Walk Century City Canal Walk Century City Cape Town
Interior Sample Image: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens

Table Mountain Views From Woodbridge Island, Cape Town 
View

Milnerton Beach Sunset Views Woodbridge Island, Cape Town View

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Sample Images: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens (2014)
Objective: Demonstrating application of the new Canon EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 IS STM Ultra-Wide zoom lens paired with the Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i DSLR camera body.

Note: Long exposures on Manfrotto Compact tripod. Hand-held photos used with Hoya Polarizing (CPL) filter. All photos in Av mode (Aperture Priority). No post-processing - just crops where applicable.

Location:
Lagoon beach Milnerton and Arnhem Milnerton Cape Town

Equipment (Landscape Photography)
  • Canon EOS 700D SLR camera body 
  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens 
  • Hoya 67mm PRO1 DMC Polarizing Filter 
  • Manfrotto Compact tripod 

Av Mode - Aperture Priority Settings
  • Aperture: f/10- f/18 
  • ISO 100 
  • Shutter speed: various (up to 30 seconds) 
  • Image Stabilization 
  • Auto focus (lens) 
  • Zero post-processing (just crops) 

(Click to enlarge / slide show)
First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens : Table Mountain / Milnerton Beach

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens : Table Mountain / Milnerton Beach

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens : Lagoon Beach Milnerton

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens : Woodbridge Island / Milnerton

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens : Woodbridge Island / Milneron

First photos with Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens  :  Arnhem / Milnerton

Architecture :  Canal Walk Century City, Cape Town
Samples: Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Ultra-Wide Lens

Different Focal Lengths : Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Landscape and General : V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Canon EOS 7D Mark II EOS iTR AF Testing

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the EOS 7D Mark II
Birds in Flight Photography: Canon EOS 7D Mark II EOS iTR AF
As with all new Canon EOS Full Frame bodies - EOS 5D Mark IV / EOS 5DS(r) / EOS-1D X (II) - the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is equip with EOS iTR AF (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition Auto Focus) enabling the camera for potentially focusing faster on moving subjects when in AI Servo mode shooting moving subjects.

This 
EOS iTR AF function is supported by the detection capability of the RGB+IR metering sensor, which is working seamlessly with EOS iTR AF for allowing continuous tracking in AI Servo shooting mode.

According to Canon, EOS iTR AF should be enabled when photographing either a moving person (for face tracking) or moving subjects with a strong colour. Colour and face tracking provides a faster, more accurate focusing system.


The EOS 7D Mark II user manual (Setting the AF and Drive Modes: page 128) states that the camera will take longer to focus when EOS iTR AF is enabled in AI Servo mode and that the camera's maximum frames per second (fps) shooting of 10 fps will be reduced to 9.5 fps.

EOS iTR AF is only supported in Zone, Larger Zone AF or the 65-Point automatic selection AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. The same Zones will be applicable in 
EOS iTR A-enabled the Full Frame EOS bodies (within the 61-Point AF systems).

Comparing face detection performance and AF against obstruction

Comparing face detection performance and AF against obstruction


Setting Up EOS iTR AF (On / Off)
EOS 7D Mark II Menu: AF Sub-Menu / Sub-Section 4: Auto AF pt sel:
 EOS iTR AF On / Off 

Objective: To determine any shooting / image property changes and / or enhancements with the EOS iTR AF function enabled during my birds in flight photography. I've been shooting with the EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens for about two years without EOS iTR AF enabled. Time and reason enough for judging any AF tracking differences and / or improvements.

Equipment (Birds In Flight Photography)

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Lexar Professional 800x / 120MB/s 32GB CF Card
  • Sandisk Extreme Plus SDHC™ UHS-I Card 95MB/s 32 GB 

Exposure / Focus Settings

  • Manual Mode Settings / Lens AF On
  • Shutter speed: 1/5000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps) / AI Servo
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Location / Conditions

I went out this morning (in excellent light and conditions) and spent about two hours shooting around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - all the usual birds; geese, ducks, egrets and a few oystercatchers.

Birds in Flight
I'm adding two sets of 6 consecutive images here of two birds flying at pace, first an African Oystercather, which is at times difficult to track due to it black feathers (against the blue water) and then an Egyptian Goose flying towards me (tightly cropped in post-processing).

Initial AF Findings

I could sense no difference in any AF behaviour ito speed, locking on or tracking conditions irrespective of bird, speed and or background colour / textures.

The jury is still out how effective the EOS iTR AF function is for birds in flight. Of what I've experienced today I can honestly say that it made no real difference (when compared to similar shots with EOS iTR AF disabled). I will keep it enabled and to observe any changes over time ito different light conditions and perhaps smaller / bigger and different colour birds.


African Oystercatcher with EOS iTR AF (Click to enlarge / slide show)

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBirds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBirds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBirds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography

Egyptian Goose with EOS iTR AF (Click to enlarge / slide show)

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBirds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark IIBirds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Photography: Testing EOS iTR AF on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Birds in Flight Cape Town Canon EOS 7D Mark II Image Gallery

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Grey Heron in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town: Grey Heron
Grey Heron Fly-Past: Woodbridge Island Cape Town
I've waited a long time for these captures on / above the small island adjacent to Woodbridge Island, Cape Town- on most mornings he's already sleeping on his spot.


Canon AI Servo AF: EOS iTR AF Testing 
These low-flying Grey Heron captures are still part of my ongoing Canon EOS 7D Mark II EOS iTR AF Testing - determining enhanced tracking capabilities for moving subjects.

Conditions and Location

Crisp early morning sun with no wind at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (just off the small island). Woodbridge Island Map.

Canon Camera / Lens Settings

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II 
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens 
  • M Mode: f/5.6 ISO 640 1/5000s 
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps 
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6: Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction.


(Click to Enlarge)
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town - Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens
Grey Heron in Flight Woodbridge Island Cape Town : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers
Speckled pigeon in flight at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
During my morning routine of Birds in Flight Photography at Woodbridge Island I was close enough to witness and quickly capture the landing routine of one of the local speckled pigeons on the Otto Du Plessis roadside of the Diep River.

Lightroom Post-Processing
All images processed in Lightroom 8. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction. Sharpness and noise reduction applied. Due to the low light / higher ISO images I spent more time with post-processing that I would in good light.

Setup and Tips For Birds in Flight Photography View

Cape Town Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town. Over the Diep River flowing past the Milnerton Golf Course

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CF Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Focal length 400mm
  • Auto-ISO (ISO 640 - all 5 images)
  • Continuous shooting mode (10 fps)
  • AI Servo / AF Mode Option (Large / Wide Zone AF / Case 1)
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 1: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 2: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 3: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island Image Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Image 4: Landing Sequence of a Speckled Pigeon, Woodbridge Island

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds in Flight Photography Gallery View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town View

Birds in Flight Photography Training Gift Vouchers View

Thick-knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve

Stand-off with one of the two local water thick-knees in the Table Bay Nature Reserve. He was a bit grumpy on first sight, but a win-win situation.

Images by Vernon Chalmers with Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens.

Continuous Shooting at 10fps: 3 consecutive frames

Canon Camera Settings
  • Aperture: f/5.6
  • Auto-ISO 500
  • Shutter Speed: 1/4000s
  • AF: Large Zone (Case 1)
  • 10 fps / handheld
  • CF Card: Lexar Professional 800x / 120MB/s 32GB
(Click to Enlarge)
Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Water Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Spotted Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island
Water Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Water Thick-Knee in Flight : Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island

Thick-Knee in the Table Bay Nature Reserve Copyright Vernon Chalmers Photography
Water Thick-Knee in Flight : Table Bay Nature Reserve / Woodbridge Island


My Woodbridge Island / Table Bay Nature Reserve Bird Species Index

Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur

Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur
Blur can really mean different things in digital photography, but should not to be confused with unwanted graininess or digital noise across a digitally created image. Unwanted noise generally occurs when:
  • shooting in low light, when a digital camera's ISO setting is too high
  • shooting within the digital zoom range of a compact camera 
  • over-cropping an image

Unwanted blur
Out-of-focus blurred area(s) in an image that came about via unintentional camera movement, unwanted subject movement and / or wrong shutter speed settings when photographing movement - something you don't really want.


Deliberate blur
This will appear in areas of the image when the photographer attempts to blur certain areas of a composition / image. With foreground in focus, but the background deliberately blurred depending on the Depth Of Field (DOF) - distance between nearest and farthest object(s) of the composition / framing requirements ie. when isolating a flower from its immediate surroundings.

Deep vs Shallow Depth-Of-Field (DOF)
With a deep DOF more of the entire image will be in focus and its more likely to be used in Landscape Photography with smaller apertures of ie. f/11 - f16. With shallow DOF specific area(s) of an image is deliberately out of focus and can be applied in a variety of genres (Wildlife / Sport / Macro / Portraits) where the photographer deliberately wants to separate the main subject from the background - for this effect, larger apertures will be applied ie. f/1.8 - 5.6. 


DOF Aperture Test: Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens - view>>

DOF flower series demonstration with Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 55-250 IS II lens - view>>



The visual quality of [deliberate] blur is also referred to as Bokeh
Bokeh: visual quality of the blur...The visual quality of [deliberate] blur is also referred to as Bokeh - Japanese for the out-of-focus aesthetic quality of the deliberate out-of-focus (blurred) area. a Wide aperture of i.e. f/1.8 - f/5.6 or so will be used (depending on the lens / optical distance from subject) to create the required out-of-focus effect.

See attached images below: white rose bud, the yellow rose and red rose bud with sharp / in-focus foreground sharp and background deliberately blurred (using wide apertures of f/5.8 and f/5.6). 

Lens apertures
In DSLR photography different lenses are used to create / select different levels of DOF depending on the lens aperture range, optical length of the lens and distance from subject. Different lenses / aperture settings will be applied  for different type of photography genres requiring blur effects at various focal lengths ie. for close-up / macro, portraiture or wildlife photography.  a  DSLR camera system is not necessarily required for creating deliberate image blur, a compact camera with a wide aperture lens with some optical zoom will also work. 

The images below were captured with apertures of f5.6 Yellow Rose (Non-DSLR Canon PowerShot SX40 HS with its f/2.7 - 5.8 35x telephoto zoom lens) and  f/5.6 Red Rose Bud (EOS 700D / EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS STM lens / EF-S 55-250mm f/4 - 5.6 IS II lens).


Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens / Extension Tue
Which Canon lenses?
Desired Bokeh-effects for close-up or macro flower photography can be achieved with a variety of lenses with wide apertures i.e. with fix aperture lenses such as Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM or the EF 100mm f2.9 Macro USM prime lenses.

Any Canon DSLR camera body with either an EF or EF-S lens (or other compatible lenses) attached will generate deliberate background / selected blur, but the Bokeh quality will depend on the following factors:

  • Aperture settings (wider is better) 
  • Type of EF / EF-S lens (design and optical length) 
  • Depth of field of objects in the frame 
  • Distance to subject / lighting conditions 
  • Accessories used (extension tubes / close-up filters) 

Different lighting conditions
In all the images the objective was to keep the 'unwanted digital noise' across the frame as low as possible. For the "Yellow Rose' image, shot with Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, I used ISO 100 (in crisp early morning sun light) and the 'Red Rose Bud', shot with the Canon EOS 700D, I used ISO 400 with a Speedlite 430 EX II flash (in early morning overcast / raining conditions).

Canon EOS 6D / Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens
Photographers use blur for various shallow depth-of-field / artistic effects (image on the right - 'blue flower' and first image below - 'red mailbox' with Canon EOS 6D both at an aperture of f/2.8 with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. 

Last image 'bee on flower' was captured with Canon EOS 700D /  55-250mm IS II lens and Canon 500D close-up lens filter), Bee in focus, most of the flower blurred / out of focus, in a deliberate, aperture-controlled and planned way.

Optimal exposure settings
Just to come back to noise - you may have noticed that many of my own photos are not always shot in good lighting conditions. Most of my low light / long exposure DSLR photography shoots are done in Av mode, ISO 100 and apertures between f/16 - f/22 generating automatic shutter speeds of between 1 and 30 seconds.


I often use the camera's Manual shooting mode with similar aperture settings and Bulb Mode - the ability to have manual time control over shutter speeds during every single shot. A time to use this mode is when shooting fireworks. These exposure combinations together with the use of a tripod and RC-6 remote shutter release, almost entirely limits all unwanted  noise / graininess and unwanted blur. © Vernon Chalmers

(click to enlarge)
Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur
Canon EOS 6D / EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens flash


Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur
Canon EOS 700D   ISO 100  f/5.6  No Flash


Difference between 'digital noise' and subject / background blur
Canon PowerShot SX40 HS   ISO 100  f/5.8 


Canon EOS 700D ISO 400  f/5.6  Flash  Photo: © Vernon Chalmers
Canon EOS 700D   ISO 400  f/5.6  Flash 


Difference between Digital Noise and Background Blur
Canon EOS 700D   ISO 100  f/5.6  No Flash 


More Depth Of Field (DOF) Examples: DSLR / Non-DSLR / More Bee On Flower with Close-Up Filter