Author Topic: How To: Use Depth of Field  (Read 13351 times)

Offline Horney

  • 10k hero
  • *
  • Posts: 10,804
  • Racing, Trackdays, Starwars.
How To: Use Depth of Field
« on: 22 April 2009, 18:33 »
Depth of field. What is it? What can I do with it?

Depth of field is essentially the "area in focus" of a shot. In the examples below you can see with a large depth of field everything is in focus but with a shallow depth of field you can pin point something in a shot and really bring it out from the rest.

I'm not going to explain why it happens because it's complicated and it's boring but essentially the main thing is the lower the F number the shallower the depth of field. At f11 and above pretty much everything will be in focus at f1.8 only a small amount of the shot will be in focus.

A couple of examples:

A large depth of field



A shallow depth of field



What you need:

* A camera which allows you to adjust the aperture.

The theory:

Using Depth of Field (DoF) is mostly for artistic effect. Set your camera to aperture priority mode and chose the lowest f number you can go down to. This varies from lens to lens and even on where you have set the zoom to on a zoom lens. You are now set for a shallow DoF shot. Distance from subject and focal length also make a difference to the DoF. The closer you are to the subject the better and if you use the longest end of your lens that will also make the DoF shallower.

Focus on your subject and snap away! A good way to practice is to set up a shot in your house and the camera on the tripod. Then take 10 shots of exactly the same thing but start at the lowest F stop and work your way up. You'll really be able to see how it effects things. Once you've got the hang of controlling howe much DoF you want in a shot then you can really get creative.
 

Tips:

* Shooting Landscape? Use an F stop of F8 all the way up to F22 as you want everything in focus normally.
* Doing a closeup? Time to get that narrow depth of field and really pick out what you want from the shot.

Nick
« Last Edit: 23 April 2009, 10:58 by Horney »

Offline Guy

  • Forum addict
  • *
  • Posts: 6,163
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #1 on: 22 April 2009, 18:55 »
depth of field is our friend  :smiley:

can be used to really highlight your subject as Nick said..



or I find it can be used to give context to something fairly abstract..


Offline bobbarley

  • Serious forum addict
  • *
  • Posts: 7,625
  • I'm kind of a big deal...
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #2 on: 22 April 2009, 19:02 »
One more example :)


Offline Horney

  • 10k hero
  • *
  • Posts: 10,804
  • Racing, Trackdays, Starwars.
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #3 on: 22 April 2009, 19:13 »
Well if we're going to have a DoF pissing contest it's time to pull out the big guns!







Nick
« Last Edit: 22 April 2009, 19:14 by Horney »

Offline shepgti

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,900
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #4 on: 22 April 2009, 19:28 »
3rd pick is awsome nick.  :wink:

Offline the_stink

  • Forum addict
  • *
  • Posts: 4,308
  • A3 140 TDI
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #5 on: 23 April 2009, 11:33 »

Offline cняis

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,060
  • Know there's something burning over there...
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #6 on: 27 August 2011, 21:46 »
Just messing about with my first DSLR but you get the idea:

Large:

Shallow:

Large:

Shallow:



I don't think a semi will give the same results

Offline simonpolly

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,382
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #7 on: 06 September 2012, 14:29 »
Is this the same as shooting in macro.? Would that mean macro has a shallow depth.
« Last Edit: 06 September 2012, 14:32 by simonpolly »
Golfgti build quality is average at best.

Offline Diamond Hell

  • Serious forum addict
  • *
  • Posts: 8,001
  • Opinions я Us
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #8 on: 07 September 2012, 10:00 »
Not the same as shooting in macro, although a lot of macro shots do have a low depth of field.
Just because you're offended doesn't make you right.

Holiday cottages on the Isle of Wight for 2-10 people? PM me.

Offline jonnym

  • Not said much yet
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • Candy White Mk5 Golf GTi
Re: How To: Use Depth of Field
« Reply #9 on: 16 November 2012, 20:23 »
Don't suppose anyone can tell me how to do the one where it;s blurred to the front of the photo and detailed at the rear? Not technical I know! I've managed to get the hand of the foreground focus like most of the photos but not the other way round.

Cheers