Depth of Field Explained

Depth of field refers to the sharpness of the field of the picture, that is other than the subject. Depending on the scene provided, photographers may choose to incorporate a shallow or deep depth of field. A shallow depth of field results in a clear subject, ahead of a blurrier background. Rather, a deep depth of field captures the full view in a clear and well-defined manner, usually applied to shots of landscape scenery. Practicing depth of field while shooting is very important, as it unlocks the full potential of a photograph. When wanting to capture a single flower in a field of flowers, creating a shallow depth of field isolates and focuses the picture on the desired subject. When wanting to capture the beauty of a pathway of flowers, however, photographers may want to create a deeper depth of field to catch all visible details. 

The three main variables you must consider when creating a shallow or deep depth of field are aperture, your distance between you and the subject, and the camera’s focal length. In a picture with shallow depth of field, the photographer must have used a bigger aperture (f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6). Not only that, but they must have also gotten close to the subject. Practicing these two techniques alone can highly affect the outcome of the picture, which is why it is so important to understand how to achieve it. Lastly, the photographer may have also taken the picture with a longer focal length, adding the finishing touches of the picture. However, in a picture with deep depth of field, the photographer will do the complete opposite. In order to capture the specifics of the shot, the photographer must use a smaller aperture, which refers to f/8 and beyond. Instead of getting close to the subject, the photographer must stand farther away to get as much of action as possible. Lastly, the camera’s focal length must be shorter, as zooming in may not only lose much of the scenery, but may also loose depth of field. 

AV, 1/1000 SS, f/5.6, 800 ISO, 55mm

AV, 1/250 SS, f/16, 800 ISO, 18 mm

f/2, 1/500 SS, 200mm

f/32, 1/4 SS, 18mm

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