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Photography 101 - Tips and Editing Techniques

Understanding DOF (Depth of Field)

I currently have one example on  shallow DOF. I am currently working on getting some more tests done with different focal length. This example is only about 1 foot away from my subject – Shallow DOF

What affects depth of field?

  • Aperture (F-Stop)
  • Focal Length
  • Distance from the subject

Aperture (F-Stop)
Smaller aperture (higher number) will give us more depth of field
Larger aperture (lower number) will give us less depth of field
You will hear the term larger aperture or smaller aperture a lot. A larger aperture is going to let more light in (like an f/1.4) and smaller aperture is going to be a smaller hole and will let less light in (like an f/32)

  • F/1 – less depth of field
  • F/32 – more depth of field

Focal Length
Distance between the sensor and the optical center of the lens.
16mm shorter distance means greater depth of field
Zoom – longer distance means lesser depth of field

Distance from the subject
As distance between the sensor and the subject changes so does the depth of field. If we are close to our subject we will get less depth of field. If we are further away we will get more depth of field. When you are very close to your subject the amount of depth of field will be almost nothing.

Further from subject – more depth of field (more of frame in focus)
Times you want more DOF (Depth of field)

  • Architecture
  • Landscape
  • Macro (sometimes)

Closer to subject – less depth of field (smaller amount in focus)
Times you want less DOF (Depth of field)

  • Portrait
  • Wildlife
  • Macro (sometimes)

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