DOF…Shallow Depth Of Field…..


LambertCastle-115A quick tutorial for any beginners out there looking to expand your photographic knowledge and produce more dynamic and compelling photographs with your present camera. My desired outcome with this tutorial is to get novice photographers out of the program (automatic) mode of their cameras and understand some basic photographic concepts.

Depth of Field or as I like to call it Depth of Focus and it’s relationship with your cameras aperture can be a bit confusing for the novice photographer. I will start this tutorial with giving you my layman’s definition of DOF(Depth of Field) and then explain how to manipulate your camera’s settings to achieve a shallow DOF you see in these photos.

Depth of Field or Depth of Focus (as I like to call it) can be defined as the amount of focus attained from the foreground of an image to the background of an image. It can either be shallow DOF or deep DOF. For today’s tutorial we will only concentrate on shallow DOF.

Each of these images represents a photo with shallow DOF. I’ve managed to separate the first baluster from the rest by setting my cameras aperture to f2.8 and positioning my focal point in my cameras viewfinder to the closest architectural feature.

LambertCastle-113You may also notice that the farther away the background is in relation to the foreground(main subject) the more out of focus it becomes. This can help further explain the concept of DOF.

So, how do you do this? I will try to make it as simple as possible….

Camera settings:

  1. Use AV (Aperture Priority) or M (Manual) setting on the Mode dial.
  2. Set Aperture to the lowest f-stop possible… 1.8 to 3.2 or as low as possible.

Easy way to remember this # in relationship to the amount of focus desired…..

Low number= little in focus…… Large number= lots in focus

Body Positioning:

  1. Photographer should be as close to subject as desired.
  2. Subject should be as far away from background as possible.

I will stop here in order for the viewers to assimilate this bit of information, ask questions and most importantly- get out and shoot, (IMHO) the quickest way to learn. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box as well as links to your practice shots if you’d like me to critique your results. I’d love to see your work!

5 thoughts on “DOF…Shallow Depth Of Field…..

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