Scene: Dropping Pearls – Test shots and making of floor

The first scene I will be shooting is Adem dropping pearls on an old wooden floor. I made the floor and did some test shots. What I wanted to have here was a shallow depth of field. Mike has been a huge help on setting up FZ50 and learning about shallow depth of field. Comment section of the previous post here filled with valuable info from him.

As you see in the above picture I have not been able to get the shallow depth of field. I need to get real closed to puppet like it is here:

shallow dept of field test 1

I am learning things about both photography and using FZ50. It is probably possible to get the shallow depth of field while puppet as a whole and pearls are visible. But I have not been able to make it. So, I tried another way. Just lit the puppet and pearls (I have not made pearls yet. The ones you see here are some steel balls for armature making) and I was able to make the floor’s back edge invisable. Still not there though. I am not totally happy with the quality of the picture… I might make some walls around the floor as I will be also animating the shadow of tree branches before the dropping occurs. I need somewhere to cast the shadows. Maybe right over the spotlight on the floor… I will see. Testing, testing…

I may change Adem’s hands too. I kind of like these big, rough hands. Have not decided yet.

(the following 2 pictures are added on feb 20th.)




If you click on pictures above you can view on flickr. Both larger versions and exif data is available there. There are also pictures with some other exposure settings.

Here you see the floor and making of it:


As a base, I used one of those sticky papers; the ones hanged on the wall to stick stuff. It had some texture and design, which I thought might look good for wooden texture. Washed that with burnt sienna. Cut in pieces. Glued together. Applied some talcum powder. Finishing touches with some walnut ink sent by Shelley! Later after talking to Mike, I made this floor bigger to have a little more space for shooting.

Zeynep… she is 4 now. She came to me saying that she wanted to paint wood piece too and then she decided to paint her face..

And some music time… music is a big part of my life. As a computer graphics designer, I spend most of my time either in front of computer or working on the set. There is always something playing here. I will be posting one song a post. The first one here is from Mercan Dede. (Grabbing video from youtube. No video clip to watch. Or dont even take a look at the video…) I wanted this song to be the first one as this is one of the songs tells a lot to me. Name of the song is “Kanatlar Kitabi” means “The Book of Wings” If you like it, try listening in front of the window when it is raining outside…


13 replies on “Scene: Dropping Pearls – Test shots and making of floor”

Wow… I agree with Shelley – that song is beautiful!! (And so is Zeynep!)

Normally you see shallow depth of field in a closeup – the purpose is to draw attention only to the face (or whatever the subject of the shot is) and throw the background out of focus so people won’t look at it too much. I don’t think you’ll be able to get a shallow DoF in a long shot that includes the entire standing puppet.

The 2nd shot is better, but the DoF still isn’t very shallow, and I think the reason is because the camera is too far from the puppet. To get it really shallow, you want to push it up just as close as it will still be able to focus. Bu if you do that, of course, you won’t be able to see the hand AND the feet…

Creative problem-solving time. If the puppet is sitting down, his hand will be a lot closer to the floor, then you can push the camera in really close.

I wanted to experiment with just how shallow you could get in a shot like this, so I tried to duplicate your setup (sort of):

Here’s how close the camera was:

I couldn’t see his foot to focus, so I placed a bottle of lighter fluid right next to the puppet, making sure the label was on the same plane as the part of him I wanted in focus. I focused, making sure I could clearly read the words on the label, then removed the bottle. Now you can see one foot is clearly in focus, and the other one is fuzzy.

Shelley, thanks so much! My very first shots with floor and puppet were terrible. And now I feel a lot better with the pictures coming out.

Zeynep says hi to both of you guys 🙂 She is very interested in the studio upstairs and Adem. We go there together in the mornings to say goodmorning to Adem and at nights to say goodnight…

Mike, thank you so much again for the information and taking a picture with similar settings to show me the idea. It has helped a lot. I tried some shots right after reading your message and checking out the pictures you took. Just added 2 new picture from flickr to this post and there is one more on flickr. I did not get as closed to the puppet as you did I guess. I tried to somehow be able to show more of the puppet and pearls, mask, etc.. I like the shallow DOF on the second picture here(more closed up one). What do you think? I think I will go with a kind of setting on the very first picture in this post. But, the idea of getting very closed to the puppet to be able to take a beautiful shallow dept of field made me think about something else. I can go with a setting like the very first picture here and take closed up pictures of Adem’s hands with pearls dropping too. I can then montage these 2 different shots in post. This could add a lot visually. Thanks!!!

Also, thanks for the trick about placing a bottle of lighter fluid right next to the puppet and making sure the label was on the same plane as the part of him you wanted in focus! 🙂

I don’t have the technical aptitude that the two of you do. I plan on sort of getting the settings I need for each shot and then laboring unnecessarily for hundreds of hours hand burnishing the focus over each sequence! HA!

I will try to follow along with what you two are finding but I doubt I’ll match you!

Those shots are looking great Yaz, and I love- the idea of montaging between the extreme closeup and the medium shot. Shelley, I’m sure whatever you do will look fantastic too… it always does!!

Justin!!! Thanks. It is good to be back and post something here for Chronos. I am little slow but yes! I am on my way.

Hands… Yep, I guess I am not going to change those.

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