CAP­TURE CRE­ATIVE DEPTH OF FIELD

Learn to ex­per­i­ment with range of fo­cus to con­trol sub­ject en­vi­ron­ment and con­text

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Find out how to use DOF tech­niques for cre­ative, en­gag­ing land­scapes, por­traits and video with this in-depth guide

CON­TROL­LING DEPTH OF FIELD (DOF) IS ONE OF THE FIRST SKILLS A PHO­TOG­RA­PHER HAS TO MAS­TER. WHILE IT CAN BE SEEN AS SIM­PLY A TECH­NI­CAL SIDE EF­FECT OF THE NE­CES­SITY TO CON­TROL THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT EN­TER­ING THE LENS, VIA THE USE OF AN APER­TURE, THE RANGE OF FO­CUS WITHIN AN IM­AGE HAS A DI­RECT ARTIS­TIC IM­PACT ON THE FI­NAL FRAME. IT IS ES­SEN­TIAL THERE­FORE THAT WE UN­DER­STAND

HOW DOF AL­TERS THE AT­MOS­PHERE OF AN IM­AGE AND HOW IT CAN BE USED TO DI­RECT THE AT­TEN­TION OF THE VIEWER. ONCE THESE BA­SICS HAVE BEEN LEARNED, IT IS POS­SI­BLE TO EX­PLORE THE VAST OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES FOR CRE­ATIVE IM­AGERY THAT VARI­ABLE FO­CUS OF­FERS.

COM­MON ER­RORS THAT BE­GIN­NERS OF­TEN MAKE CEN­TRE AROUND THE POINT OF FO­CUS AND HOW THIS RE­LATES TO OVER­ALL DOF ACROSS THE COM­PO­SI­TION. THE OF­TEN-OVER­LOOKED CON­TRIB­U­TOR TO DOF AMONGST THESE NEW PHO­TOG­RA­PHERS IS WHERE IN THE FRAME THE FO­CUS POINT IS PLACED – IF THIS IS CLOSER IN THE FORE­GROUND, LESS OF THE FAR BACK­GROUND WILL BE COV­ERED, WHEREAS FO­CUS­ING IN THE CEN­TRE OF THE FRAME MAY MEAN NEI­THER FORE­GROUND OR BACK­GROUND IS REN­DERED SHARP ENOUGH. HOW­EVER, THIS COM­PLEX RE­LA­TION­SHIP BE­TWEEN F-STOP AND FO­CUS­ING DIS­TANCE AL­LOWS MANY AP­PROACHES TO EV­ERY SCENE AND SUB­JECT, GEN­ER­AT­ING MANY ‘LOOKS’ AND FREE­DOM FOR EX­PER­I­MEN­TA­TION. IN THIS FEA­TURE WE WILL EX­PLORE THE MANY FACETS OF DOF AND HOW WE CAN AS­SESS EACH SUB­JECT TO FIND THE MOST AP­PRO­PRI­ATE AND CRE­ATIVE WAY TO FO­CUS THE SCENE. WHILE

THE MATH­E­MAT­ICS BE­HIND DOF ARE COM­PLEX, WITH PRAC­TICE IT IS POS­SI­BLE TO PRE­DICT HOW COM­PO­SI­TION, FO­CAL LENGTH AND APER­TURE CAN BE COM­BINED TO EI­THER RE­STRICT OR EX­TEND CON­TEXT, DEFIN­ING WHERE THE VIEWER LOOKS FIRST AND HOW THEY PER­CEIVE THE SUB­JECT AS PART OF ITS SUR­ROUND­INGS. WE WILL EX­AM­INE HOW FO­CUS CAN BE USED AR­TIS­TI­CALLY IN EACH OF THE MAIN GEN­RES OF PHO­TOG­RA­PHY, AND HOW TO OVER­COME THE COM­MON CHAL­LENGES.

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