My topic this week was Shallow Depth of Field. I chose this topic because I wanted to take pictures of our beautiful summer flowers on our patio. I also love macro photography, so shallow depth of field was a great topic!
Here are some of my favourites:
For those of you not familiar with the term depth of field, it more or less refers to how much of the photo is in focus. For example, a large depth of field often has all of the elements in your photograph in focus. In the photo below, you can see that everything is in focus – the flowers in the foreground, the grass and the building in the middle ground, and the trees and clouds in the background. A large depth of field is often used in landscape photography and astrophotography.
Conversely, a shallow depth of field will only have a small slice of the photograph in focus. The photo of the pearls below is a good illustration of a shallow depth of field. The depth of field is so shallow that only a single pearl on that entire strand of pearls is in focus! You can also see that only a small slice of the leather mat under the pearls in focus, and it lines up at the same depth in the photograph as the pearl that is in focus. This is was accomplished using a large camera aperture and a macro lens. Photography life has an excellent article on depth of field – check it out if you would like to learn more about depth of field.
I love using a shallow depth of field with flower photography – you can use it to really focus the viewer’s attention on a particular spot in the photograph, whether it is the stamens in a flower or a single flower on a larger plant. I hope you give it a try – you can even experiment with this concept on many of the smartphones these days. Have fun!