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Depth of Field in a Nutshell

Depth of Field in a Nutshell

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Published by adrian_caballero_3
documents courtesy of Picture Correct Photography Tips
documents courtesy of Picture Correct Photography Tips

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Published by: adrian_caballero_3 on Nov 24, 2010
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02/17/2015

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Depth of Field in a Nutshell
 
  "Yorkshire Grit" captured by Tony TaffinderIf you are new to photography, you have probably heard the term depth of field being mentioned invarious photography websites, blogs or forums. You would probably be wondering what depth of fieldmeans and how it can help you in taking better pictures. Whether you are into portrait, landscape, sports,wedding or other forms of photography, depth of field is an important concept you have to understand. Itis not complicated to understand and can become one of your best tools in photography.Depth of field or DOF in short, refers to the range of distance within a scene that is considerably sharp. Toachieve that effect, we have to understand how it works, now that we know the definition. There arescientific ways to explain DOF but I will not try to bore you with it. I will use simple layman terms toexplain what it is and how you can use it to your advantage to produce stunning pictures.
Deep Depth of Field
 
H
ave you ever seen landscape pictures that are sharp across the entire scene? There are several reasons tothis. One of the main reason for the sharpness is due to deep depth of field. Deep DOF means the range of distance within a scene that is considerably sharp, is wide, covering a wider depth in the scene. Thisresulted in a picture that is considerably sharp across the entire scene.Deep DOF is important when taking pictures of landscape as you want all details from the foregroundthrough to the background in the scene to be reasonably sharp. It is also important when taking groupshots as you do not want anybody in the picture to be out of focus.When we use deep depth of field, the following attributes on your camera will change:1.
 
Aperture will be small2.
 
Aperture value will be large, such as f/223.
 
Lens opening will be small "Rua do Comércio" captured by José mbrito
S
hallow Depth of Field
When you are shooting portraits, you want your subject to be really sharp and stand out in the picture.You can achieve this effect by using a shallow depth of field. Shallow DOF means the range of distance
 
within a scene that is considerably sharp, is small, covering a smaller depth in the scene. This resulted in apicture that is only sharp at the focused subject while the foreground and background are blurred.Shallow DOF is important when taking portraits as you only want the subject to be sharp and stand out inthe picture, free from other distractions in the picture. It is also important for taking macros or close uppictures of small objects, as you want them to be really sharp since they are small. Shallow DOF allow your pictures to have some depth to it, giving it a three dimension effect.When we use shallow depth of field, the following attributes on your camera will change:1.
 
Aperture will be wide2.
 
Aperture value will be small, such as f/1.83.
 
Lens opening will be wide "Town Walks" captured by Alex Lewis
Factors that Influence Depth of Field
Aperture
± This is the most obvious factor that will determine how DOF affect the outcome of yourpictures.
H
ow much of the picture is sharp will be determined by the aperture you set while in manual oraperture priority mode. As stated above, a small aperture value (e.g. f/1.8), will create a shallow DOF inyour picture, while a large aperture value (e.g. f/22), will create a deep DOF in your picture.

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