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Depth of Field

This tag is associated with 4 posts

Beautiful use of Depth of Field

This week on Learn by Doing Photography Assignment we are practicing with our Depth of Field. Trying to guess what will be in focus or out of focus before you even take the picture. I still find it amazing you can creatively pick your DOF exactly how you want it, right out of the camera! I went looking for some inspirational examples to help when I came across these beautiful photos! Be sure to follow their link and see some of their work! Thanks for sharing!

Trang Le

Astrid van Veen

Andreas van Beek

Hannes Ambrosch

Out & About in Montana

Matt Eastham


Sergio Cabezas

Murtaza Mahmud

dude,walking,on (in ☮)’s

Thanks for Sharing your photos!

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Depth of Field (DOF) – Learn by Doing Photography

Week #48 Take any picture, but think about your DOF before you take it.

Think about what you want in focus and what you don’t want in focus. For my picture I set up my tripod, set the camera to f/4 on Aperture Priority and took the first picture.

For this second picture the only thing I changed was I raised the tripod. By raising the viewing angle the spread of my depth of field moved to a broader area of the picture. What this shows is your DOF is not just about Aperture, but distance and angle as well.

Depth of Field depends on many factors – camera type, aperture, distance between your camera and the subject. The best way to understand depth of field is to practice.

I found this excellent video explaining DOF by Dylan Bennett. He explains what it means, how it works and how to control it! Everything you need to know about DOF is in this video, nicely done!

Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on DigitalCamFan FaceBook wall. If you have questions about “Learn By Doing” Please refer to the guideline page. If you have no questions post away!

Circles of Confusion

This past week we did an aperture assignment to see what would happen if we set up our camera on a tripod and took a few picture on aperture priority. The only setting we changed was our aperture by 1 stop each time. Result – The wider the aperture the more shallow depth of field you end up with.

After reading up this week as to why this happens I came across many posts that talked about the circle of confusion. This circle confused me even more.  What I did learn… there are three factors that influence depth of field:

  1. The focal length of your lens
  2. The distance between you and the subject
  3. The aperture you select

This week we’re working with aperture settings.  The best example I came across was actually in a book – Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson – Quoted from the book:

“Imagine using a funnel with a very small opening and pouring a one-gallon can of paint  through it in to an empty bucket. Compare this process to pouring a one-gallon can of paint in to the same empty bucket without the aid of the funnel. Without the funnel, the paint gets into the bucket quicker, but it also splatters up on the bucket sides, as well. With a funnel, the transfer of paint to the bucket is cleaner and more contained.”

What a great visual! When you use a smaller aperture like f/22 your pictures will come out neat and sharp, but if you want to add a dash of blur to your image open wide and go for that splash with a f/2.8 or f/5.6.

Of course that is only one piece to the puzzle when it comes to depth of field we still have focal length and distance between you and the subject, but it’s a start!

For a great technical resource check out Cambridgeincolour I thought they did a great job explaining Depth of Field!

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)