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Calling all depth of field experts to look at this and help me

Hi Experts !

Here is a photo from Yuri Arcurs that is here on the DT website. How did he get sharp focus from floor to head and still end up with just the toes blurred out ? Her eyes are totally focused and you can still count the threads on her shorts close to her booty. Is this the works of Photoshop or can any of you replicate this with equipment and technique only ??? If i'm going to make any money at this hobby i have got to start getting serious about learning, so THANK YOU !

 Image not available or id is incorrect. 
Canon T2i and 5D classic, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS...
Edited: 02/01/2013, 14:31:48 PM
I think it is quite obvious that a relatively long focal length (and fast) lens was used. It can also be deduced from the fact that feet do not look too large compared to the head - perspective compression characteristic for telephoto lenses.

I'd speculate something like 135mm f2.0 lens on a full frame body should produce this kind of photo. Floor and head are located approximately at the same distance from the camera, so it's normal to see them both in focus.
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 02/01/2013, 16:08:14 PM

ApertureFNumber: f/2.0
Make: Canon
Model: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
DateTime: 2010:04:17 22:32:06
ExposureTime: 1/250
FNumber: 2/1
ExposureProgram: 1
ISOSpeedRatings: 160
DateTimeOriginal: 2009:09:16 14:10:55
MeteringMode: 5
Flash: 0
FocalLength: 85/1
Canon Body, Sigma Glass, Canon Strobes, Adobe Creative Cloud
Posted: 02/01/2013, 16:13:12 PM
So how would you go about shooting this straight out of the camera with an entry level canon (T2i) or nikon (5100) to have all the girl in sharp focus EXCEPT the toes and do you think a dof calculator was used to preplan ?? thanks for the info, wish i knew as much as you guys do !
Canon T2i and 5D classic, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS...
Posted: 02/01/2013, 23:33:27 PM
You will only understand depth of field by shooting with many different camera settings and seeing the results for yourself. Here's a Canon Rebel article on Shallow Depth of Field It sounds like the T2i has a depth-of-field preview button, that should help a lot. Canon T2i
Posted: 02/02/2013, 00:35:30 AM
Mudplucker, you must be Yuri's biggest fan :)
I can see that most of your threads and comments are about him! Maybe you're putting too much energy into his work?

It's ok to aim high, and it's also ok to learn from the best.

But don't forget that the key to success in stock photography is to have unique concepts and/or unique execution of popular concepts.

Posted: 02/02/2013, 09:20:27 AM
Mudplucker....I think the best way to do things is to develop your own style. Learn from what the big guys are doing but don't try and copy will just be setting yourself up for major frustration. The lens is probably the 85mm f1.2L...fact is that f2 is shallow DOF. If the models feet were 15cm in front of her body is would have had the same advise I can give is to experiment as much as you can. That is the best way to learn.
f3.5-5.6 Sigma 17-50 f2.8 Canon 24-70L f2.8 Canon 70-200L f4 43...
Edited: 02/02/2013, 13:08:48 PM
Hey,Mudplucker...I am not an expert but trust yourself and just upload your work!Good luck!
Edited: 02/02/2013, 13:01:58 PM
thanks guys, i am planning to shoot my own concepts but i want the photo quality to be so good that people are just absolutely amazed and tripping over themselves to get at my photos.

I figure when Yuri started he had to work hard to gather info too but he probably was a lot smarter than me at figuring things out without asking all the questions. And yeah i think i probably am one his his big fans but mostly not for his photography. Mainly at the way he took charge and learned everything so quickly, was a perfectionist and a handstand across the finish line was the real kicker ! YURI THERE IS YOUR NEXT CONCEPT !!! MAN IN HANDSTAND ACROSS THE FINISH LINE !!! :)
Canon T2i and 5D classic, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS...
Posted: 02/02/2013, 21:08:10 PM
Mudplucker, with the T2i her feet would be much more in focus, but still a bit blurred if you used f2
On the other hand, the fact that the feet are no in focus is not helping much of the image IMO, more important is the blurr on the closet to the right which would be distracting.
If you dont get the same result, maybe you dont have an f2 85 mm lens, you can always blurr it a bit in post processing.
Now, what makes this image work IMO is the smile of the model, if you have that natural smile nobody would worry about the closet, thats where you should focus on if you like to take images of people.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 02/03/2013, 06:26:05 AM
On a crop camera with 1.6 crop factor, the exact equivalent (in terms of angle of view and depth of field) of the 85mm f2.0 lens used on a full frame camera would be a 85/1.6=53mm f2.0/1.6=f1.25 lens. So something like Canon 50mm f1.2 lens would produce almost identical photo on your camera. But it doesn't have to be the same angle of view - in this photo, there is very little perspective in the foreground, and zero perspective in background, so you could achieve almost the same effect by using a longer focal length (and much cheaper!) lens - something like 85mm f1.8. (As long as there is enough of room to step back - longer FL means you have to be further for the same framing.)
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 02/03/2013, 09:43:54 AM
If you really want to get creative you can take several shots of the same thing with different focus points and merge them in a photo editing program (like Photoshop). I used to do that for product shots where every bit of the product had to be in focus and my lenses and shoot angles were limited. It would be harder to do with people though - objects don't move.
Posted: 02/03/2013, 11:37:47 AM
Thanks guys ! Actually Yuri had mentioned that a 50mm 1.4 on a 1.6 crop factor would be similar to what he produces. I HAVE A BIG QUESTION re: the tips you gave of doing this in post processing.

I have been working on this actually and although i am not an expert in Photoshop just yet, i'm getting pretty darn good at just about everything after working on it several hours per day. My question is, will creative post processing pass stock photo inspection ???

So far i have been able to separate masks and blur everything i want on an overlay masking layer using a workaround in elements to create an alpha channel. Everything else remains in other layers and the blur layer loses the noise that is present in a digital photo and must be re-created. I have come up with a way to add noise back in to simulate real photo grain using a pattern and added in as 5 percent "uniform" noise. Looks to be perfect, but has anyone else done this and submitted the photos here ??????? I'd like to make sure these are "Arcurs" quality before i go submitting any of them so wll probably be a couple of months still.

RED: I assume you had to do this on a tripod ??? That crossed my mind but i did not know where to start to do it properly. If you have any details i will be forever in your debt !!!!!!!!
Canon T2i and 5D classic, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS...
Posted: 02/03/2013, 18:05:24 PM
Yes, a tripod is absolutely necessary to do this (I had my camera on a boom, a big heavy industrial tripod). Here's a site with a simple explanation of point of focus and depth of field. Point of Focus

What I would do is shoot the same object and move the point of focus to different areas of the object then take all the shots and bring them into photoshop on layers and slowly erase the areas that were out of focus on one layer to let the sharp area from the other layer(s) to show through. You have to be meticulous with how the edge of one layer melded into the others and the different shots didn't always align themselves perfectly so some skewing had to be done on a layer here and there. But being a faster photoshopper than photographer this was no problem for me and often solved my depth of field problems.

There is a cool feature in Photoshop now that helps called auto-blend. I started using Photoshop in 1990 and learned how to do the things step by step that now have simple buttons so I tend to do things the old way. See this video (I know you don't have Photoshop but this will help explain the thinking behind the process.

Since you are forever in my debt, I'll take a tall cold beer.
Edited: 02/03/2013, 19:19:47 PM
A very big aperture opening at a moderate focal length does this. You can get this blur easily. Just use a good enough focal length and focus on face.
Then try all f numbers. If you're used to your lens, you'd be able to guess the right number.

Remember one thing though:
Too long focal length - too wide aperture - too short subject distance

Bad combination if you're working on even slightly big subject. You'd get a DoF as small as a tenths of a millimeter.
And then a "not enough depth of field" rejection. Just take care of the boundary between artistic and strange.

Search for DoF apps in android market if you do have an android phone. Helps in the beginning. Then you get used to it. :)
55-250mm standard lenses. Dual tube macro flash and external speedlit...
Posted: 02/03/2013, 22:49:31 PM
In my opinion even if the subject's feet are in focus, say the lens can be stopped down to f/8 or a few more stops beyond to achieve this, it will still be accepted and sell. In fact the whole body should be in focus i feel.

This is more about technical hardware (camera and lens and how the camera system was set), instead of post processing. well unless you want to edit the portion of the legs to make it blur off?
Entry level digital SLR cameras and lenses.
Edited: 02/03/2013, 23:36:23 PM
Thanks everybody, I've experimented with my T2i and 50 mm 1.8 prime lens at all different distances and settings and figured out pretty much what i can do with what i own. Now if I can just enough money to upgrade from PS Elements to the full Photoshop CS i think i'll be in control...

Red, what kind of beer would you like :)
Canon T2i and 5D classic, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS...
Posted: 02/05/2013, 13:27:14 PM
Posted: 02/05/2013, 13:30:37 PM
I'd rather upgrade the nifty-fifty to something like 85mm f1.8, or perhaps 50mm f1.4, than upgrading to PS. With PS, you'd have to do this very time-consuming procedure every time you need the control over DoF (and it will never be perfect; there will always be artifacts, making your photo look unprofessional); with a faster aperture lens you'll achieve the effect instantaneously, every shot you take.
10-20mm f4-5.6, home photo studio...
Posted: 02/05/2013, 15:01:01 PM