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Depth of field
Field of View primer
Home made ring flash
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Tutorials are given a difficulty rating out of five stars(*). Five stars being the hardest to master.

Depth of field tutorial -Article and photos by Dan H.
What it is and how to use it.

Difficulty level - ****
Equipment - Any camera with manual control over aperture.

Definition: Depth of field is the area in front and behind the main subject that is in focus.

Depth of field is directly related to the film or digital camera sensor format, focal length and aperture.

The smaller the aperture number, the longer the depth of field will be.
For instance, f/2.8 will produce a very shallow depth of field where f/8 will produce a much longer depth of field.

Try it - examples and usage

Usage is always at the photographers artistic discretion depending on the look, feel, composition and desired effect for the photograph. Some photographs will lend naturally to a short or long depth of field.

Normally if you are shooting a landscape you would use a high aperture number such as f/11 or f/22 to produce the most amount of depth of field thusly having the most area possible in focus.

Shot at f/8 - The bridge and buildings in the distance are in focus.

If you are making a product shot, abstract shot or if the photographer wants to emphasize a specific are of a photo, a shallow depth of field will be used so shooting around f/2 to f/4 will give the desired effect.

Shot at f/4.2 - Only the lime can is in focus

In this example we see the direct effects of aperture on the depth of field.

The pictureon the left, taken at f/2.8 has only about an inch worth of DOF.

In the picture on the right, shot at f/8, from the 4th cm to the 9th cm are in clear focus. A much larger DOF than with the smaller aperture number.

For more information about these factors please see tutorials on: Aperture - Exposure

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