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Depth of Field


What is Depth of Field?

Depth of field is a measure of how much of a photograph is sharply in focus.


What controls the Depth of Field?

1. Aperture 2. The type of the lens used 3. The distance between the camera and the subject matter


Aperture What is Aperture?

The aperture is the hole inside the lens that opens up to let more light in and closes to stop the light from coming in


The lower the number, the bigger the aperture (hole) The higher the number, the smaller the aperture (hole)

Different apertures are commonly referred to as f stops and on a standard lens will range from anywhere between f 5.6 to f 36


A small aperture (i.e. f. 36) will give you a deep depth of field (everything in focus) A big aperture (i.e. f. 5.6) will give you a shallow depth of field (one area in focus and the rest of the image out of focus)

A shallow depth of field allows you to select which area of the image you want to be in focus


This is where you will find the Aperture settings (the f.stop) on many cameras (but not all of them)


To set the aperture on the camera, press down the AV and keep it pressed whilst scrolling the wheel.


Examples of deep depth of field photographs (everything in focus) Examples of f.stops: f25, f28, f32 etc.


Deep depth of field (f 36) – all dominoes in focus


Artist: Branislav Kropilak


(F.64) Artist: Ansell Adams


(F.64) Artist: Ansell Adams


Examples of shallow depth of field photographs(one area in focus, other areas out of focus) Examples of f.stops: f4.8, f5.0, f5.6


Shallow Depth of Field (f 5.6) – front domino in focus


Shallow depth of Field (f 5.6) – centre domino in focus


Shallow depth of field (f 5.6) – back domino in focus


Further Examples of Shallow Depth of Field


‘Close up of the centre of the flower’ by Kevin Howchin


Central Depth of Field (f 16) – camera lens focused on the barbed wire


Shallow Depth of Field (f 5.6) – camera focused on the barbed wire

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Depth of Field Powerpoint  

Depth of Field Powerpoint  

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