- Depth of Field in a Nutshell
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Dark Spot of Venus Crossing in Front of the Sun
- Slow Motion Photobooth Making Waves in the Wedding Photography Industry (Video)
- Timelapse Photography Used to Show London Train Ride in 30 Year Increments (Video)
Posted: 01 Sep 2013 04:38 PM PDT
If you are new to photography, you have probably heard the term depth of field being mentioned in various photography websites, blogs or forums. You would probably be wondering what depth of field means and how it can help you in taking better pictures. Whether you are into portrait, landscape, sports, wedding or other forms of photography, depth of field is an important concept you have to understand. It is not complicated to understand and can become one of your best tools in photography.
Depth of field or DOF in short, refers to the range of distance within a scene that is considerably sharp. To achieve that effect, we have to understand how it works, now that we know the definition. There are scientific ways to explain DOF but I will not try to bore you with it. I will use simple layman terms to explain what it is and how you can use it to your advantage to produce stunning pictures.
Deep Depth of Field
Have you ever seen landscape pictures that are sharp across the entire scene? There are several reasons to this. One of the main reason for the sharpness is due to deep depth of field. Deep DOF means the range of distance within a scene that is considerably sharp, is wide, covering a wider depth in the scene. This resulted in a picture that is considerably sharp across the entire scene.
Deep DOF is important when taking pictures of landscape as you want all details from the foreground through to the background in the scene to be reasonably sharp. It is also important when taking group shots as you do not want anybody in the picture to be out of focus.
When we use deep depth of field, the following attributes on your camera will change:
Shallow Depth of Field
When you are shooting portraits, you want your subject to be really sharp and stand out in the picture. You can achieve this effect by using a shallow depth of field. Shallow DOF means the range of distance within a scene that is considerably sharp, is small, covering a smaller depth in the scene. This resulted in a picture that is only sharp at the focused subject while the foreground and background are blurred.
Shallow DOF is important when taking portraits as you only want the subject to be sharp and stand out in the picture, free from other distractions in the picture. It is also important for taking macros or close up pictures of small objects, as you want them to be really sharp since they are small. Shallow DOF allow your pictures to have some depth to it, giving it a three dimension effect.
When we use shallow depth of field, the following attributes on your camera will change:
Factors that Influence Depth of Field
Aperture – This is the most obvious factor that will determine how DOF affect the outcome of your pictures. How much of the picture is sharp will be determined by the aperture you set while in manual or aperture priority mode. As stated above, a small aperture value (e.g. f/1.8), will create a shallow DOF in your picture, while a large aperture value (e.g. f/22), will create a deep DOF in your picture.
Distance to Subject – The closer you are to your subject, the shallower the DOF, while the further you are away from your subject, the deeper the DOF.
Focal Length – The longer the focal length you use, the shallower the DOF, given equal subject distance. Zooming will narrow the distance between you and your subject through the lens. As you already know from the distance factor, the closer you are to your subject, the shallower the DOF, irregardless of whether you zoomed in or move in closer to the subject. The exact opposite applies when trying to achieve deeper DOF.
To sum it all up, use a low aperture value when taking portraits and macro. Ensure that the distance between you and your subject is close enough to compose your shot. You can close the distance by zooming your lens in or by walking closer to the subject. This creates a shallow depth of field in your picture.
As for landscapes and group shots, use a large aperture value. Ensure that you are not too close to your subjects. You can increase your distance by zooming your lens out or by walking a few steps back from your subjects. This creates a deep depth of field in your picture.
Depth of field is important and should be understood properly as it can help you to compose stunning pictures that has depth to it.
About the Author
© Copyright – Roy Lee. All Rights Reserved.
For Further Training:
There is a popular downloadable multimedia guide with videos that teaches you how to take control over your camera, and get creative and confident with your photography. By combining illustrations, text, photos and video, it will help you get control in no time. Includes a bonus Field Guide—a printable pocket guide with some of the most essential information beautifully laid out inside.
It can be found here: Extremely Essential Camera Skills
Posted: 01 Sep 2013 02:36 PM PDT
Solar eclipses are a highly-anticipated event by photographers all over the world. Normally, this means watching out for the perfect moment when the Earth's Moon eclipses the Sun, but last June, it was Venus that took the spotlight. Pictured below is our Sun in three colors of ultraviolet light with the dark spot of Venus passing over it, an incredible image captured by NASA. This incredible phenomenon isn’t expected to occur again until 2117:
The Sun was imaged in three colors of ultraviolet light by the Earth-orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, with the dark region toward the right corresponding to a coronal hole. Hours later, as Venus continued in its orbit, a slight crescent phase appeared again.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Dark Spot of Venus Crossing in Front of the Sun
Posted: 01 Sep 2013 01:01 PM PDT
At major events such as birthdays, weddings or christenings, it's fast becoming a staple to come across a photobooth or at least a designated picture-taking area for guests to enjoy. Not only is it very Facebook-friendly, it also doubles as a guestbook for the celebrant/s to look back on. In the case of this wedding, a group called sfst came up with the concept of a 'slow motion booth'. The title is self-explanatory, but is best appreciated in the video below:
The video was shot at 160 fps with a RED Epic camera. "We didn’t have enough lights to really push it to 300 fps," says an insider to a curious commenter. Also included in the setup are a monitor, 4 LED lights (Konova 900 LED with vmount), a white backdrop and finally just a few props.
Go to full article: Slow Motion Photobooth Making Waves in the Wedding Photography Industry (Video)
Posted: 01 Sep 2013 12:15 PM PDT
Timelapse videos are great for showing how much or how little things have changed over the year. The BBC made their own version of a then and now segment featuring a train ride from from London and Brighton. The duration of the trip varies, but what is usually an hour-long trip is compressed into just 4 short minutes. This clip includes segments from sixty years ago, thirty years ago, and present time, laid out side by side:
Go to full article: Timelapse Photography Used to Show London Train Ride in 30 Year Increments (Video)
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