Some people have asked me about the techniques I use to get the very shallow focus on some of my photographs.
Certainly for some macro work I love large chunks of colour with only a small part in focus. I think what is out of focus in an image is just as important. In some cases I only have a few blades of grass or shoots in focus, leaving the rest of the image in a wash of colour and blurred streaks like brush strokes of a painting.
There are a number of ways to get a shallow depth of field like this. Using high magnification from a telephoto lens, getting close to the subject, and using extension tubes or a close up lens are all techniques I use, often all together at once. With these methods the depth of field can be down to only a few millimeters thick even with a lens aperture of F8 or F11, so getting the focus on the right spot can be tricky. Extension tubes sit between the camera and lens and allow the lens to focus much closer than it normally would. Close up lenses do the same but screw onto the front of the lens like a filter.
When looking through layers of undergrowth, I rarely need to move the camera much but rely on focusing through the layers of foliage, each turn of the focus ring picking out new parts and revealing a totally new composition. With the right lighting, and a decent covering of plants to crawl through, I can spend hours hardly moving more than a few metres.
A number of the images shown here also have a low evening sun back lighting the subject, giving a great orange glow and producing even more blur from the glare of the sun on the lens.