DSLRs: Bringing Depth of Field to Adult Productions

Stephen Yagielowicz

One of the most visible indicators of professional photographic work is the careful use of depth of field (DOF) to help focus the viewer’s attention on the most relevant part of the photo. In simple terms, this means that a portion of the image is in sharp focus and the rest is not — such as the softly blurred background common to commercial portraits.

Achieving this effect has historically involved the use of “fast” optics — the $2,000-plus versions of the $200 lens of the same focal range that you see at BestBuy — relegating the technique to professionals or to those amateurs with professional grade budgets.

Evolving imaging technology is putting higher-end film making tools into the hands of lower-end shooters, enabling new techniques for adult content producers.

This effect is so desirable, that Adobe’s upcoming Photoshop CS6 will include a tool that simulates iris blurring, allowing users to specify the point of focus and depth of field; while one of the big selling points of the innovative new Lytro camera (seen on page 38 in this issue of XBIZ World), is its ability to recursively apply DOF effects to images.

But what about video: Hollywood uses DOF, so why isn’t it common in adult?

Until fairly recently, most videographers have not been able to make use of DOF, as the overall sharpness of digital imaging chips and the relatively “slow” lenses used on all but the highest-end equipment, simply precluded it.

This changed with the advent of video-capable DSLR cameras, which are finding an increasing number of devotees across the independent filmmaking world, adult included.

One site to make use of DOF techniques is Camille Crimson’s “The Art of Blowjob” (www.theartofblowjob.com), which brings softness and sensuality to the oral niche, with thoughtful photo- and videography.

If you’re shooting with a DSLR and not making use of DOF techniques, or a new shooter looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, this is a great avenue to explore.

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