Non photographers, and new photographers just beginning their journey to photography fortune and fame, will often hear us talk about depth of field. Of course we’re not talking about the size of your backyard. Simply stated, depth of field refers to just how much we choose to have in focus or out of focus in our images. These techniques are used to set a mood, or possibly force the viewers eye into a certain area of the image.

Depth of field is basically controlled by the aperture opening of the lens. The wider you open a lens, the less depth of field (area of the image in focus)  you will have. That’s stating it at its very basic form. Other factors can be included. The problem that most new photographers encounter is that the smallest numbers. F /1.4, f /2.8 etc., are the largest lens openings and the least depth of field. The largest numbers F /16, f /32 etc., are the smallest openings and the most depth of field. Confusing to be sure.

Let’s look at some basic examples. The following images were all shot with a 100mm macro lens on a tripod. The aperture was changed for each shot, but nothing was moved. I’m sorry I don’t have an f /8 example, that file has been lost to the cyber universe somewhere.

2.8

5.6

11

16

32

You can scroll up and down to see the difference in how much is in focus for each aperture setting. Each has its own mood or feel. Starting with the largest lens opening, F /2.8 we see a bit more in focus with each following decrease in lens opening down to the final F /32 image. This is a very basic demonstration of depth of field. I’ll encourage you to gather more information on the subject to take control of those wonderful creative images that you’ll soon be capturing.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share, and/or comment. Take care and I hope I’ve helped out in some small way.

Take care and be creative.

Dave

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