写真

Photographer's Note

This Japanese Falconer with his bird were giving a display in the Hamarikyuu Park grounds as part of the New Year celebrations.
I have some other shots with both the bird and trainer in focus, but I personally prefer this, with just the focal point, the falcon in clear focus. Let me know if you disagree.

In Answer to Guzman's question - "I would be interested on the reasons and technique that you used to get the very close changes in focus here?"
Firstly, the reason I did this was simply to focus purely on this magnificent bird. I did take some shots with a wider DOF, but the eye gets pulled to the falconer. In this shot I think you can see enough detail to be interesting but to still force the eye back to the clearly focused falcon.
Regarding the technique; basically, I chose the widest aperture my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens, which will give a very shallow DOF at this distance. If you look at the guys clothes and the string dangling from round his neck, which is the same distance from me as his head, you'll see they are also slightly out of focus. The only in focus area is the falcon and the falconer's arm on which it rests.

I actually didn't realize there were falconers in Japan until yesterday either. Apparently it's been popular for a few hundred years. The main difference from Western Falconry is that the Japanese sit the bird on their left arm not the right, to allow ones most dexterous arm to be used for other things.

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