Know your stuff

Con­trol­ling your depth of field is a cru­cial com­po­nent of pho­tog­ra­phy. How can you use it ef­fec­tively?

Getaway (South Africa) - - Photography -

Sim­ply put, depth of field is the area of ac­cept­able sharp­ness in an im­age. A deeper field ren­ders more of your im­age sharp while a shal­lower field gives you a nar­rower fo­cus area. This is con­trolled by the open­ing through which light rays en­ter your cam­era be­fore re­fract­ing and con­verg­ing onto the sen­sor, onto what is known as a ‘cir­cle of con­fu­sion’ (stan­dard lenses can’t con­verge light to a per­fect point). Small aper­tures (such as f/22) cre­ate smaller cir­cles of con­fu­sion, mak­ing more ob­jects on dif­fer­ent planes in your im­age ac­cept­ably sharp. Larger aper­tures (such as f/4), cre­ate big­ger cir­cles, which ap­pear as out of fo­cus blur spots. How to use it? Switch the set­ting to aper­ture pri­or­ity mode and fo­cus on your sub­ject. Use a wide aper­ture to draw at­ten­tion to and iso­late your sub­ject, and a nar­row aper­ture to show­case a whole scene equally, such as a land­scape.

A nar­row aper­ture (f/22)

A wide aper­ture (f/4)

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