Thursday, April 04, 2013

A to Z Challenge - D

The pond near my house...
Simply put, depth of field is the distance between the nearest object and the farthest object in your scene. In photography,  how your depth of field appears can be affected by your aperture/f-stop, your lens, and the distance to your subject.
In some cases, a photographer wants their depth of field to be clear and in focus, landscapes are an example. If the depth of field in the picture above was not in focus, all you would see is a tree! In this photo the entire scene is the subject of the photograph.

Again, my nephew's photo illustrates this better than mine.
In some cases, however, a photographer wants the focus to be not the complete photo, but a specific subject in the scene, an example of this is portraits. Most amateur photographers just point their camera and shoot, not paying much attention to aperture. This gives a photograph where everything is, hopefully, in focus...but all that focus may be taking away the...well...focus from the photo's real subject (a bumble bee on a flower, a child surrounded by a park, etc.). By lowering the f-stop for a wider aperture, a photographer can make a specific subject in a photo stay in focus while blurring the depth of field beyond that point.

Oh, and a trick my nephew taught me...ensure the focused subject is against a contrasting color background to increase the impact (yellow flower against white tablecloth)!

Play with your camera's settings, if you can, and see what you can do.



Maria Dunn said...

Hi Shannon, I love your choice of A to Z theme. Reviewing all the basics in photography is helpful for all of us, and you have done a great job with your first four letter start. Thanks for the review. And also the peak back at Shirley Temple, a family favorite character. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

Cindy said...

I used to take pictures with a 35mm camera and made all the manual adjustments. It's been so long though I forgot how to do that. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I have a new digital camera and am having fun experimenting and trying out all the settings. It's great to be able to do that without wasting tons of money on 35mm film.

Anonymous said...

i have been taking tons of flower photos for my husbands local hiking blog, it has been super fun. I love this post! new follower :)
Thanks for stopping by my A-Z post today! - Elisa

Jamie Gibbs said...

Depth of field is one of my favourite photo taking tricks; I love having a small object in focus while the background is all hazy. It's one of the few things I can accomplish :P

Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff. I have to admit, I'm not sure where I'd find the f-stop setting on my camera (a digital Fujifilm)