Welcome to the Intern Corner!
A lot of photographers use depth of field to enhance their photography so here’s a little explanation of what that is and how I use it.
Depth of Field
Simply, depth of field (DOF) refers to how you use your the focus on your camera. You can choose to focus on one thing or make everything in focus. The DOF is controlled on the camera by the f number or f-stop. You might be thinking, what’s an f-stop? The f-stop controls how large the aperture is.
Large Aperture = Small f-number = Shallow (small) Depth of Field
Small Aperture = Larger f-number = Deeper (larger) Depth of Field
…There’s a lot more of a complicated technical explanation, but you get the picture. So as you can see you can choose to have a shallow depth of field or large depth of field.
Shallow Depth of Field
My f-stop for a shallow DOF usually ranges from f1.8-f5.6.
Large Depth of Field
My f-stop for a larger DOF usually ranges from f8-f22.
Here’s a comparison between shallow and large DOF and how much of a difference it makes.
When To Use Each
As you can probably tell from the pictures above, there are certain times when it’s better to use one depth of field over the other.
Shallow depth of field is the more popular type that photographers use. It allows your eye to focus on the subject of the image and you can be more creative with it. I use a shallower depth of field to isolate my subject from the background, especially when the background is busy or distracting. I use my 50mm lens or my telephoto lens to get the best shallow depth of field.
I also mostly use it for portraits.
You can also use it artistically and put out of focus things in the foreground to frame your subject. I just make sure that the focal point (the red dot) is on the subject and the aperture is bigger (f1.8-f5.6).
A larger depth of field is used in most landscape photography because you want to make sure that you get as much in focus as possible. I use my wide angle lens and a small aperture (f8-f22) for landscape photography.