Depth of Field
You may have heard the term depth of field but if you are new to photography you may not know how it can improve your photos. Simply put, depth of field is the distance between the closest and furthest points in an image that are in acceptable focus or appears acceptably sharp . Read on to find out how to get the most out of depth of field in your pet photography.Depth of field impacts both the aesthetic and technical qualities of a picture. Mastering depth of field will give you creative control over what’s in focus in your images, enabling better storytelling.
One example is when you’re photographing a landscape, where generally the most desirable outcome is to capture detail from the foreground to the horizon.
Other times, a shallow depth of field will be preferable. It enables you to blur background and foreground details, causing distractions to melt away while directing viewers to the focal point in a picture.
Images that have very small area of focus have a shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field is used primarily to isolate the subject from its environment and is used a lot in portrait, macro and sports photography. A shallow depth of field means that a small portion of the picture is in focus. This is usually accomplished by using wide apertures.
Others may have a very large area of focus that have a deep depth of field. A deep, depth of field keeps most of the scene in focus and is most often utilised in landscape photography. A deep depth of field means that a large portion of the picture is in focus.When using a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, the three main factors that will affect how you control depth of field are:
- Aperture (f-stop):
One of the main advantages of a DSLR camera is the ability to adjust aperture, the amount of light that the lens lets through. The size of your aperture (the diameter of the hole through which light enters the camera) controls the amount of light entering your lens.
Large aperture = Small f-number (f/2.8) = Shallow depth of field
Small aperture = Larger f-number (f/11) = Deeper depth of field
- Subject distance:
Another way to control depth of field is to change your distance from the subject in focus. The greater this distance is the more depth of field you will have.
- Lens focal length:
The last factor in your control for depth of field is the focal length of the lens you decide to use. Telephoto lenses have a shallow depth of field as compared to their wide angle counterparts.Even with a regular digital camera, there are ways to control your depth of field. In the Scene Modes menu, look for a symbol of a human head, this setting will give you a narrow depth of field. In the same menu there is also a mountain symbol, which is a setting for landscapes, which will give you a deeper depth of field.
If you are a beginner with a DSLR there are some simple ways you can control depth of field and still use an automatic shooting mode. By choosing Aperture Priority (AP) mode you can set your aperture to get the depth of field that you want and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed.Achieving the depth of field on a DSLR camera is easy if you know your way around the settings but this is not the case on a mobile phone. So, here are a few tips to achieve depth of field while using your smart phone:
- Using manual focus
The distance between the object and the camera affects the depth of field. To use the manual focus option, you need to get as close to the object as your device will allow and then tap on the object to focus on it. On some devices, a long hold on the object will lock the focus. At the right distance you should achieve what looks like a shallow depth of field with a blurred background.
- Download a third party app
As you now know, achieving depth of field traditionally requires a DSLR camera with a special lens and achieving this technique using your camera on your smartphone can be tricky. But you can get close with the help of a third party app – A popular one for Android and iOS is Big Lens.
- Make use of your backgrounds
The type of background you use, combined with how far the subject is from it, will play a role in how well the shallow depth of field comes out. Try to strike a balance between too much and too little detail. A plain white background won’t have enough to depth, but a background that’s overcrowded can pull the viewer’s eye away from the subject. Go for a little bit of detail and colour in the background so that the depth is obvious without being distracting.We hope that you are now able to take control of your depth of field and easily overcome the difficulties you’ll come across when shooting for your desired depth of field. Once you have tried and tested our tips or you think you’ve already mastered the art of depth of field in your photography, then enter our #calendarpets competition by sharing your best results with us here.