Depth of Field

Controlling Focus With Depth-of-Field

Using a big aperture to explore depth of field with Amanda on a rooftop in Boston, on February 24.
Using a big aperture to explore depth of field with Amanda on a rooftop in Boston, on February 24.
Using a small aperture to explore depth of field with Amanda on a rooftop in Boston, on February 24.
Using a small aperture to explore depth of field with Amanda on a rooftop in Boston, on February 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Photos by Lainey Bustos, spring 2015.

Depth-of-field is the distance between the nearest and farthest point in the photo that is reasonably sharp.  You can increase or decrease depth-of-field by adjusting your aperture (lens opening or f-stop), the lens’ focal length and/or the camera distance to subject.

Wide angle lens (less than 50mm focal length) = more DoF.

Telephoto lens (greater than 50 mm focal length ) = less DoF.

Further from subject = great DoF.

Closer to subject = less DoF.

For this assignment we will only explore the effect that aperture has on DoF.

For greater depth-of-field use small aperture (f16).
For less depth-of-field use wide aperture (f4.5).

Assignment Instructions: 

Shoot a portrait of subject at 6-8 feet from the camera with a story-telling background – have great distance behind subject.   Use good lighting and a 50 mm lens. Use the rule of thirds.  Set ISO for 200 or 400. Shoot horizontals. 

First shot – focus on subject, about 6-8 feet from the camera and need to use interesting background. Set f-stop to wide aperture –  f2, 2.8, 4 or 5.6 (wider is better),  adjust shutter speed to get correct exposure, use camera’s light meter and histogram to adjust exposure.

Second shot – same framing as the first shot, but adjust f-stop to small aperture –  f16 or f22, adjust shutter speed to get correct exposure – use camera’s light meter and histogram to adjust exposure.

Competency #2 deliverables: Post four pictures – two depth-of-field shots, one wide open aperture, one with aperture closed to small opening, and two action shots ascending or descending stairs (one inside, one outside). Due at the end of class next week. Name post category ‘competency.’ Please shoot color, use proper white balance. Pictures must be sharp and well exposed!