Having a hard time judging when a deep depth of field is best? I'll bet if Shakespeare were here he'd say "to thine own self be true."
To make it easy, depth of field is everything around your subject, that isn't your subject, that is in focus. A deep depth of field means that things behind your subject, in front of your subject and to each side of your subject, are more in focus than not in focus. A shallow depth of field focuses mainly on the subject, with the focus falling off on things around the subject. Got it?
Sometimes, when first starting out, photographers have a hard time deciding things like depth of field (DOF). Sure, you learn about it in class, you read about it in photography books, and you look at other photographer's work to see what you like, trying to be sure to take notes on the depth of field they used.
Then a fantastic thing happens. You just start TAKING PICTURES. (Wild, I know.) After which something even MORE FANTASTIC HAPPENS! You LEARN from them. From the good, the bad, and the ugly. What you like and don't like. When you got exactly what you wanted to capture, and when you didn't.
You learn when it might be advantageous to close up your aperture and place yourself where a deeper depth of field would be an advantage, because you need some of the background elements to tell the story.
Even though I studied the elements of using depth of field in a photo, choosing the right lens/focal length, and selecting the right settings for the moment, in my photography classes, nothing compares to actually going out and practicing everything first hand. That's where total understanding comes in. Where a light bulb clicks above your head. Where you learn lessons on what to do and what not to do.
That helps you recognize when deep depth of field might not work. Especially when you want to showcase one individual in a group of many, as in the photo below, where a shallower depth of field was used.
That's because as you read this we have just been through another snow storm. I have lost count of how many there have been. So, sunshine is what I am all about right now. And Spring. Hello Spring. Please, let me invite you in for a cup of green grass and budding trees.
If you are snowed or iced in, and can make yourself a cup of something, sit here a bit longer and check out the rest of the blog circle. The theme this week was "deep depth of field." I'll bet my friend Angela Schneider of Big White Dog Photography, celebrating dogs and landscapes in Spokane, WA, will have some lovely images to share! Enjoy!