Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shutterbug Bonus: Depth of Field (DOF)

Racing the Rain
"racing the rain" - deep depth of field
  Depth of field is the front-to-back focus area in your photographs in which objects appear crisp or "in focus." “Shallow” depth of field is when only a sliver of your image, usually the main subject, is in focus while the foreground, background, or both are not. The opposite is true for “deep” depth of field. The foreground, subject, and background are all in focus, as with beautiful sweeping landscapes.

quiet times
"quiet time" - shallow depth of field
  Achieving your desired DOF is quite easy.  A very simple way to increase depth of field is to move away from your subject. I know this seems obvious but the further away you are from your subject, the more you can focus on.  Using this technique will change your composition so you will need to use additional elements, such as visual lines, architectural elements, or color, to draw your eye to your subject and add interest.

With the Tides
"with the tides" - deep depth of field
  You may also use your aperture settings to control your depth of field.  For a landscape, select a small aperture setting, f/16 or f/22, and adjust your shutter speed to compensate for the extra light needed. To draw the eye to a single subject, set a large aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.  In this instance, your shutter speed will need to be adjusted to reduce the amount of light needed since you are now shooting with the lens "wide open" and taking in much more light.  You will need to refer to your specific lens to determine your range of aperature settings.  In my own work, I use my 35mm f/1.8 lens the most and tend to shoot "wide open" with a very shallow depth of field.  You will find the setttings that reflect your personal style.

Picnic {explored}
"picnic" - shallow depth of field
  If you are using a camera (such as my Nikon) with Advance Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close-up, Night Portrait), you can also use the landscape and close-up modes.  The camera will automatically adjust the shutter speeds and aperature settings for you to achieve similar affects.
Until next time. stay sweet ♥tlb.

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