How to Photograph Through a Fence
April 2012As a regular visitor to Monkey World and track days at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, I often find I am shooting through a chain link fence. With practice I have worked out a few tips to get photos that focus on the chimp or the car, and not on the fence in front. Please note, these tips work best with an SLR and telephoto lens.
Use Manual Focus
You will find that the camera wants to focus on the fence, because that is what is nearest, so try using manual focus instead. You can then focus out of the fence and onto your subject.
Lens to Fence
If you can, place the lens right up to the fence, and because it is so close, the camera will have difficulty focusing on it, and will focus on your subject in the distance.
Whilst close to the fence, and using aperture priority, choose your largest aperture (small number such as F5.6 - F1.8). This has the effect of narrowing the depth of field, and throwing the lens out of focus.
Shoot When Subject is Far Back from the Fence
If the subject is close to the fence, then the camera will focus more on the fence, but if you wait until the subject is further away, then the fence will drop out of focus and you will capture a clear photo of the subject.
This photo of a cute baby woolly monkey, was taken through the fence at Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset.