Depth of Field

Depth of field can be divided into two types, as follows:

  • Depth of Field

  • Shallow Depth of Field

Depth of Field Caluclator

DOF calculator
DOF calculators are quite handy. The calculator above is a great one. I even have a DOF and light meter ap on my phone (Android).

Shallow Depth of Field

A picture is said to have shallow depth of field when the focal point is in focus, but the background and/or foreground is blurred. This technique is used alot in portrait photography.

There are a couple ways to achieve shallow depth of field in your pictures, as follows:
  • Use a large aperture, f5.6 or lower.
  • Use a zoom lens.
  • Bring your focal point close to you and the background far away.

Shallow Depth of Field examples:

This is an example of shallow depth of field using a large aperture. Notice how the side of the chair is blurred (foreground), Connor (focal point) is in focus, and the deck rail is blurred (background).

What I like about SDOF is that it is a challenge to shoot and it clearly defines the focal point of the picture.

I shot this pic of Connor with a 300mm lens. What I like about shallow depth of field is that there is no mistaking the focal point of the image - in this case, Connor.

I love SDOF. I shot this on a dead run (trying to get a good shot of Steven at at XC meet) with a 70mm-200mm lens set at f2.8 - an incredibly fast shutterspeed, of course