Depth of Field
The depth of field in an image is the portion of it that appears to be sharp and crisply in focus. In this tutorial I’ll explain depth of field and demonstrate how you can use varying degrees of it to add interest to your shots.
Later, I’ll show you some examples of depth of field that contain wide vs. narrow depth of field comparisons.
This technique works by giving visual priority to the subject you want your audience to focus on. If you want them to see everything your image has to offer and give each object equal importance, the whole image should be in focus and therefore you should use a wide depth of field. If there is a single object, person, or group that take precedence over all else in the image, using a narrower depth of field will help to draw the viewer’s eye to them.
Wide Depth of Field
In order to shoot with a wide depth of field, your camera’s lens needs to be set at a wide angle, and you can achieve this by simply zooming all the way out.
Shots where you have multiple objects whose distances from the camera vary greatly, such as landscapes and horizons, are best captured with a wide depth of field. You can bring out your depth of field to literal infinity with a wide angle lens configuration this way, but using a narrower field will lend a degree of polished professionalism to your work.
Narrow Depth of Field
If you want to focus in on a particular subject, your image will look more natural if you use a narrow field depth. To narrow your depth of field, dolly back, away from your subject, and then zoom in.
A camera lens that is zoomed in is said to be in telephoto mode as opposed to wide angle mode. While zoomed in, every movement of the camera affects the frame to a larger degree, so it becomes especially important to maintain a steady shot when in telephoto.
After you have set up a shot with a narrow depth of field, it’s important to make sure your subject stays in focus. Movement toward or away from the camera could put the subject out of focus quickly, depending on just how narrow your field depth is.
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