Anybody who wants to seriously go into photography must understand the concept of depth of field to be able to produce excellent photographs. The depth of field refers to the zone or distance range for the subject in focus to be acceptably sharp.
The depth of field of a picture appears as a gradual transition and not as an abrupt change of the subject and the background from being sharp to being not. Anything in front or in the back of the subject focused on begins to lose their clarity or sharpness. The image of the subject in focus is sharp while everything else in the shot are out of focus or unsharp.
Knowing the concept of depth of field and being familiar with the various techniques in controlling your photograph’s depth of field can enable you to create spectacular photographs of anything you want. With this knowledge, you can bring your subject into sharper focus and allow the background to blend in for a stunning picture.
Aperture. The aperture basically is the size of the opening which permits the entry of light through the lens. The size of the lens aperture is usually referred to as aperture value, f/value, or f/stops. The aperture that you can use depends on the kind of camera that you have. The size of the aperture that you choose can greatly impact especially close-up shots or those that are taken using zoom lens.
As a rule of thumb, always remember that the smaller the value, the larger the aperture. Consequently, a larger f/value will give you a smaller aperture. This is very important to remember as a small aperture will give you a more extensive depth of field while a large aperture will give your picture a shallow depth of field.
If you want to concentrate wholly on your subject or only one part of a scene and make the rest out of focus, it is recommended to use a large aperture. If you want to keep your photographs as sharp as possible, choose a small aperture.
The Lens’ Focal Length. Always remember that there is an inversely proportional relationship between the focal length of your length to the depth of field of your photograph. This goes without saying that you can attain a greater depth of field if you use a shorter focal length.
You can also enhance this extensive depth of field if you attach a wide-angle length. Photographers use this trick if they want to focus mainly on the subject and would want to avoid the background from distracting or stealing the attention of the viewer from the main subject.
The Distance Of The Camera From The Subject. In this case, the distance of the camera from the subject is directly proportional to the depth of field of the resulting shot. This means that the farther the camera is from the subject, a greater depth of field results. The depth of field decreases as the camera comes nearer to the subject.
Some would contend that one could get a shallow or limited depth of field by either getting closer to the subject or increasing the camera’s focal length. However, the results between these two techniques will be different. By using longer focal lens instead of getting close to the subject, you can get a “flattened” perspective which allows more prominence to the potential narrow depth of field for your picture.
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