Depth of field isn’t as complicated as it first appears. Here’re the first baby steps to get things into focus.
The simple definition of depth of field (also known as effective focus range, or focus range) is an area of usable or acceptable sharpness within a photo.
Of course it’s much more to it than that, but it is pretty important. Knowledge of depth of field concepts are important because not knowing what DOF is can make it difficult to use a camera to its maximum potential
Digital Camera World put out this infographic that makes the concept stupid-easy to understand, and give a few pointers as well on how to manipulate DOF.
What you should know
- Even point and shoots today offer some control of depth of field. A PnS will typically have “Scene Modes” that affect depth of field. Portrait modes give you a narrow DOF while Landscape modes deepen it.
- Newbie DSLR owners can use “Aperture Priority” modes to control a DOF range and still use auto.
- Changing aperture size affects relative shutter speeds, resulting in different levels of blurriness. Knowing which speeds work best with your desired DOF makes a huge difference in understanding how an image will turn out.
What other newbie depth of field tips can you share?