Focus and depth of field are those kinds of topics that can quickly confuse newer photographers. When we’re just starting out, we think we know what it means, but our pictures are still blurred or everything’s too sharp and detailed and we don’t understand why.
Hey, just a really quick gloss over the basics of how to create three dimensional space in your composites.
I’m going to show you how to take your image from a boring 2D image like this, and turn it into a totally awesome 3D one like this (slide to see the impact of going the 3D and depth route)
After learning about the history and science of lenses, and gaining some knowledge about the properties of modern lenses, it’s time to take a deeper look at depths of field and how it’s affected by sensor size.
Kick back as John Hess of Filmmaker IQ takes us on a 17-minute long journey through the optics, the terms and the calculations that will help you understand how depth of field works once and for all.
The ability to create realistic depth in a photograph, a 2-dimensional plane, is the sign of a good photographer. When shooting stills or video, it’s an important detail to make sure your shots have depth. Sometimes, however, that is sometimes easier said than done. In the quick, 3-minute video clip below, cinematographer Matthew Rosen, covers his top 5 favorite ways to ensure his image aren’t falling flat. The video is geared towards cinematography and moving pictures, but many of the techniques can be transferred into still photography as well. Well worth a watch even if you never shoot video. [Read more…]
The fact that the depth of field varies depending on focal length seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Matt Granger however says that wide angle lenses don’t necessarily have a smaller depth of field when compared to longer telephoto lenses:
To understand any of this, you have to know what depth of field is: (Yes, this is very basic) Depth of field is basically the depth of your image that is in sharp focus, it is usually about 1/3 in front of your focus and 2/3 behind it.
In his video, Matt conducts a test to prove his point: He takes the same shot with the same framing and only changes the focal length and the position of the camera. The aperture was kept the same – f/2.8 – throughout the shoot. Of course when changing the focal length of your lens you’ll have to physically move the camera if you want your final result to have the same crop.
Here are the results:
After discussing exposure in great detail, I would like to turn to a different kind of control – Depth Of Field (A.K.A. DOF). OK. Don’t jump – you are right. Depth Of Field is not a real control, but more of a result of how you used the aperture control.
In simple words Depth of field is the term you use to describe what is inside the focused area of your image and what is left outside of the focused area (and will stay home alone, and eat dry bread and drink stale water. Sorry Jewish mom syndrome…)
As I said before the control that has the most impact on depth of field is aperture. Bigger apertures tend to provide shallower depth of field. That means that if you open a wide aperture (say f/1.8) you will have a narrow location in your image which is focused. If you set your aperture to a small value, say f/22, you will have a huge focused area. The other two controls you can employ to control depth of field are Zoom focal length and camera to object distance. [Read more…]