Thursday, October 2, 2014

How to improve your photo skills by understanding Depth of Field.



Here you can see the tulip in sharp focus floating over a blurred background. The flower appears to pop right off the page.




And below you can see the photo of landscapes where the trees in the foreground are as sharp and clear as the trees behind them.


Can you control exactly what’s in focus? (Focus is a point on a lens where light rays converge, which helps to produce a clear image). You can. Understanding depth of field will help you with that.

Depth of Field (DOF) is the area in front of and behind the point of focus which appears to be sharp. Everything immediately in front of or in back of the focusing distance begins to lose sharpness. The “blur” outside the sharp depth of field area is called “bokeh”.

 

Some photos have a narrow depth of field and some have a large one. It is easier to understand when you see examples. The photos below were each taken with a different aperture setting: f/1.4, f/4.0, f/8.0. And you can notice that a larger aperture (smaller f. number) produces a more shallow depth of field.

F/1.4



F/4.0





F/8.0












So the size of the aperture is the first factor which determines DOF.
The second factor is the focal distance (how far away from your subject are you standing). If you are close to your subject you’ll receive large (or wide) DOF. If you are standing back you’ll receive shallow (or narrow) DOF.
If you want the whole scene at your photo to be clearly visible you need the large depth of field. If you want to isolate the subject from the background you need the shallow depth of field. You can receive the desired result by changing your aperture settings and the focal distance.

You are very welcome to give me the feedback.