You may have heard us reference the term "depth of field" when talking about adding visual interest to your images. Depth of field in photography is used at varying degrees to place either everything in the image into a sharp focus, or to narrow the focus and highlight a subject, allowing other elements to be blurry.
Depth of field is used to create certain effects and draw the viewer's attention to particular elements of the scene. Depth of field is determined by three primary factors:
- Subject distance
Your camera can only focus on one tiny point in space. The depth of field determines how much of the image is in focus to the human eye.
When shooting a landscape, a large depth of field is desired so that the entire scene appears to be in focus.
When shooting portraits, a small depth of field is often used to blur the background and reduce distraction from the main subject of the image.
The primary control of depth of field is the aperture setting on your camera. Apertures have a wide range (f/1.2-f/64) and each lens you place on your camera will have a different aperture range.
Rule of Thumb: If you want a small or shallow depth of field shoot with a large aperture (lower number). If you want a large depth of field shoot with a small aperture (higher number).
Today we are going to teach you a quick and easy way to increase your depth of field.
Four words: Move your subject forward.
We are going to show you three examples taken from one of our many in-person demonstrations at our Kindred Oklahoma City workshop. These images were taken all at the exact same camera settings. The only thing we changed is we moved the cup (or subject in this case) forward away from the background.
See! Just by moving your subject forward away from the background you are creating depth of field. We want to challenge you this week to try using depth of field in different settings. You can practice with stationary objects like a coffee mug or fresh flowers, then try some out with live subjects. We always love to see what you are working on so don't forget to post on Instagram and tag @kindredphotographyworkshops to be featured!
Angela & Kacey