View Full Version : Thomas Struth and depth of field

1-Mar-2016, 23:02
I was looking at Thomas Struth's work and was amazed at the intense level of sharpness across the entire frame. How does he achieve such amazing depth of field? Even shooting indoors under subdued light, he manages to keep everything in focus. Thoughts?

Gudmundur Ingolfsson
2-Mar-2016, 00:53
He might have used a high resolution digital back with a much shorter focal length than on his 8x10".

2-Mar-2016, 02:01
According to his website, the San Zaccaria photo was made in 1995, so I doubt he used a high resolution back...


2-Mar-2016, 18:11
Very small aperture, or focus-stacking.

2-Mar-2016, 20:23
There is only one way...small aperture. Format size is not by itself a factor but exposure times can get very long for large formats at the small apertures required.

Richard Wasserman
2-Mar-2016, 21:31
Also, he is lighting the spaces he's photographing. The museum photos were lit with up to 15 flash heads. Must be nice to be able to get that kind of access... Yes, I'm envious!

3-Mar-2016, 23:24
Take this photograph taken at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin:


I don't think he is using any external lights. The figures are in focus with no motion blur (except for 1) and there is enough DOF for the back wall to be in focus.

What kind of sorcery is this?!

Or this photograph:


no additional lights, a fast enough shutter to freeze most of the subjects and plenty dof.

3-Mar-2016, 23:30
I shoot mostly architecture and use this method to select the best aperture:


The minimum aperture I end up with is usually F22. Very rarely do I even use F16. This works fine when shooting architecture outdoors but it becomes much more challenging indoors.

Darin Boville
4-Mar-2016, 01:57
Pergamon Museum in Berlin...looks like models to me. Wouldn't have to worry much about motion blur.


Darin Boville
4-Mar-2016, 01:58
And, I googled...they are all models: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/essay/thomas-struths-pergamon-museum-iv-berlin/


Struan Gray
4-Mar-2016, 05:00
Spent many happy hours in the Pergamon Museum. Nobody stands around like that in that room, unless paid to.

The second shot looks less posed, has what looks like diffuse natural light, and some of the background figures are in fact blurred. That said, Struth has big enough budgets to pay models to look amateurish. Or to take hundreds of shots and keep the least fuzzy.

4-Mar-2016, 06:22
HC-B it ain't!

8-Mar-2016, 08:39
Nitpicking here but I find the ceiling window at an angel quite distracting ....



Take this photograph taken at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin:


11-Mar-2016, 12:24
umm.. wide lens (looking at the maimed shapes) focused at infinity, f16 -22 and bounced flash ?

Drew Wiley
11-Mar-2016, 14:28
The figures look pasted on. It's disconcerting. Methinks some PS fakery, which this school of practice is noted for. Not to my taste. Painters should use real paint.