Tag Archives: DOF

Depth of Field Revisited – Again

One of the first principals of photography that must be learned is, Depth of Field (DoF). You may say, no the Exposure Triangle is, but Depth of Field  is so entrenched in that, that we can’t separate the two. People say they understand it and in the most basic way most photographers do. ” It’s when your subject is In-Focus and the background isn’t”. Sounds simple enough, but unfortunately it isn’t.

I see it all the time, especially in portrait work where many proudly exclaim ” I always shoot wide open” and then I know…they don’t really get it.

In most instances, we can get away with having a rudimentary understanding and it won’t hurt our images. But when the camera get’s close, when the magnification increases, that’s when that rudimentary knowledge falls all apart. Macro enthusiast know it far too well, how trying DoF becomes and how much beyond a basic understanding of DoF it takes to produce good work. I’m not going to get into pure Macro work here because it is an article all to itself and I’m not trying to reach those people. Instead I just want to concentrate on the Close up, shooting at or near your lens Minimum Focus distance.

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Maybe we need to RETHINK how we think about Depth of Field

Maybe we need to RETHINK how we think about Depth of Field

It’s really about Magnification

We know some truths about Depth of Field (DOF). We know there are 3 things (actually 4 but the forth is controversial and not all agree and it would only apply if you switch cameras in between shots)

Anyway, there are 3 things that affect Depth of Field

  • Aperture
  • Distance to Subject
  • Focal Length

We know:

  • The Larger the aperture (lower f/ number),the shallower the Depth of Field
  • The closer we are to our subject, the shallower the Depth of Field
  • The longer the Focal Length, the shallower the Depth of Field

and of course the inverse of all would be true Continue reading »

Depth of Field – In Depth

Depth of Field – In Depth

Everything you wanted to know about Depth of Field and some things you didn’t but you will be glad you did

So you may think you understand Depth of Field (DOF) but do you? Let’s try to confirm what you do know and maybe show you a couple things you didn’t.

What is Depth of Field?

Let’s start with a definition: Depth of field is the total distance that is in “acceptable focus” from our actual point of focus. Let’s clarify that definition further because we artistic minded hate reading definitions.

When you focus on an object, you have a “point of focus” that is the only part that is 100% sharp and in focus, then you have a “field of acceptable focus” in front of and behind that point. That area is the total Depth of Field Continue reading »