What You Didn’t Know About Depth of Field

Need more blur? Go to: Filter > Blur > BINGO! Same with sharpening! But before we “Go to:” anywhere in Photoshop – we need to nail it the camera, first! Simple things such as adding blur or increasing the sharpness are things we can do before making it to Photoshop.

We Want More Blur?!

Get further away and zoom in.

A large aperture (i.e. –  f/2.8) will play a big part in how much we blur we can achieve in the camera. Prime lenses are great for this because they can get such a low f/stop number… but what about our affordable zoom lenses that only make it to f/4.5?? We need more blur in our background but our f/stop is maxed at out. So give this a try this:

1. Step back away from your subject/foreground.
2. Zoom in to achieve the same framing you originally intended.
3. Keep the same, low, f/stop number.
4. Meter your light for proper exposure.

Being further away from your subject will help increase the amount of blur in your background, and you will create what they call lens compression. When lens compression happens, you will notice that your background will appear closer to your subject than it actually is compared to if you were to take a wide angle shot of the same thing, up close.


We need more detail!!

Achieving that Deep Depth-of-Field can also be a challenge sometimes! You need your interesting foreground in focus just as much as you need the entire background in focus. So where do you focus?? You want to focus about 1/3 of the way into the photo… which is the lower third.

1. Frame your shot just the way you want it. Good composition and creative perspective will go a long way!
2. Consider the Rule of Thirds and focus where the lower third is in your shot.
3. Increase your f/stop number to around f/16-20 to ensure that from the lower third, and up, is in focus.

By focusing on the lower third, you are telling the camera that you want this area closest to the camera to be in focus! You don’t want to forget that! Your large aperture will take care of the rest of photo because it is responsible to get as much in focus as possible. It just forgets about the area closest to the camera if you were to focus anywhere else, except for the lower third.

We just took your existing knowledge about depth of field and we added to it. Little things like this can go a long way in making better quality photos.


(Disclaimer: We do not carry credit for this post nor any of the photographs; we are simply sharing information, you may not otherwise see, in accordance with the copyright laws and under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License of the USA)

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