Photography Tutorials and Articles

Controlling The Depth Of Field

Add Creativity To Photos By Controlling The Depth Of Field 

Exposure is the main key in Photography and Aperture is one of the main controls in photography. As you know we can set our exposure by using Shutter speed, ISO, and Aperture. But controlling exposure is not the only important performance of the aperture. Another significant role is controlling the Depth Of Field.

In this article I discuss how by controlling the Depth Of Field, you can add more story to your photographs.

Depth Of Field

Christmas Photography tip
Shallow Depth Of Field reduces the focusing area to your main subject.

Depth Of Field

Christmas Photography Tip
Increase the focusing area by using a higher f Stop. The whole scene is in focusing range.

By controlling the Depth Of Field you can eliminate unwanted elements from the scene, as you can see in above images.

What is the Depth Of Field

I found the best description for depth of field in Wikipedia:

“In optics, particularly as it relates to film and photography, depth of field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image. Although a lens can precisely focus at only one distance at a time, the decrease in sharpness is gradual on each side of the focused distance, so that within the DOF, the unsharpness is imperceptible under normal viewing conditions.

In some cases, it may be desirable to have the entire image sharp, and a large DOF is appropriate. In other cases, a small DOF may be more effective, emphasizing the subject while de-emphasizing the foreground and background.”

Does it sound too Complicated?

Although it may seem complicated, in real life application it is not. As a rule of thumb the higher f-stops (higher the number) give greater Depth Of Field, with more of the scene appearing to be in focus in your photo. And vise versa, a lower f-stop results in a smaller (shallow) Depth Of Field, with only one sharp and focused point in the image.

There are several other rules which apply to depth of field, such as lens focal length and the size of your media (sensor or film), which I will discuss in a different article.

In following images I set the camera on a tripod, and shot the photos in three different Aperture. You can see the how opening up the aperture changed the focusing range.

Aperture f16

the focusing point was on the front of the car, using f16 brought more items in focus.
the focusing point was on the front of the car, using f16 brought more items in focus.

Aperture f5.6

By opening up the aperture to f5.6, the whole car is in focus and the other elements are out of focus.
By opening up the aperture to f5.6, the whole car is in focus and the other elements are out of focus.

Aperture f1.8

At f1.8 only the front of the car is in focus and the rest of the scene, even the back of the car are out of focus.
At f1.8 only the front of the car is in focus and the rest of the scene, even the back of the car are out of focus.

Let’s take a closer look at these images by zooming closer. Click on thumbnail to see larger size image.

Now you have it! The higher f-Stop the more distances in focus and the lower f-Stop the fewer distance. In next articles I will cover some important tips on how controlling the Depth Of Field can enhance the pictures.

That is all for now. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send  us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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