Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DOF.... Depth of Field

Photo by Kat Greager
You know those photos that are only in focus in one little bit, or seem to dissapear into the distance, they have what is called a shallow Depth of Field or DOF. Its useful to consider depth of field when structuring your composition, whether you're painting, drawing or in photography. It can add impact and 'depth' (hense the name!), and zowie up your pic 10 fold. Often used in photographing food, textures in artworks, and in portraiture to really focus in on the subject, and to limit background clutter. The photo below demonstrates how limiting the focus in the background excentuates the focus on the foreground.

Photo by Kat Greager

In a 'Nut Shell' explaination, photog 101 ala Kat:
To achieve shallow DOF, you need to set your exposure with a small F stop number.... this may sound like very basic lingo, but it's the easiest way I find to remember...

smaller F stop number = shallower DOF.

Smaller F stop number means that the iris is opening up wider and letting in more light, so the faster the shutter speed..... which is good when you need to avoid camera shake (something to look out for when the shutter speed is below 1/60 you must use a tripod).
Have a play with it.... move around the subject, get on angles, this enhances the effect.

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