Thursday, July 22, 2010

Depth of Field

Prompt 7 for Shimelle's class was to play around with depth of field. This, I think, is the easiest photography concept to understand. A large depth of field is when everything is in focus. A shallow depth of field is when a small part of the photo is in focus and the rest is out of focus. Easy enough right? Large depth of field - large area in focus, small depth of field - small area in focus. I tend to shoot with a shallow depth of field. This is in part to the fact that I use a zoom lens but, also because I think it puts more focus on the subject. Now, I tend to shoot small objects and people, which work well with a shallow depth of field. I shoot less landscapes, which typically work well with a large depth of field.

I chose two photos to show this concept. They are both of the same thing. It is a centerpiece I made using a Jenni Bowlin kit. I took it outside to shoot in natural light and after several variations, found the wagon sitting next to the fence with grapevines and thought it would be perfect!

The first one shows a narrow depth of field, while the second shows a large depth of field. This was all done by changing the opening of the aperture. The first had a large aperture opening - F2. The second had a small aperture opening - F22. You, of course, can get varying degrees of depth of field by changing the aperture opening. It's why I typically choose to shoot in aperture priority.
Which do you prefer? I like the one with a shallow depth myself but, photography is an art, and art is subjective!

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