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Depth of Field Exercise



Sometimes you want just a part of your picture sharp as in a portrait. You want the person or people to be the main point of the image. In a landscape it’s usually going to be the entire scene you want sharp from front to back. This is what’s called Depth of Field and it’s one of the fundamentals of creative photography.

To control it you use your apertures however there are two other things which affect depth of field. The focal length of your lens and the distance you are from the point of focus­ that’s where you choose to focus in your camera’s viewfinder. I know it sounds tricky doesn’t it! But all it needs is some practice and you’ll soon understand how it works so we’ve come up with an exercise for you which will help you gain experience of the two most important ones, aperture and focal length.

You’re going to need a pen, some ‘post it’ notes, camera, lenses and tripod. Then you just need to find somewhere where you have fence posts, railings or something similar where you can set up the camera looking along them. Look at these two images and you’ll get the idea. In the video we’ll go through the depth of field exercise step by step so you can see how to do it for yourself, and see how easy it can be to be either subtle with what’s sharp and what’s not ­ or a bit more heavy handed.

Depth of field is one of your camera’s most useful creative tools and is vital for adding impact to your images. It might sound complicated but with a bit of patience and practice you’ll find it’s as easy as driving down to the chip shop!

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