Photographers can become obsessed by depth of field (DOF)

You have either too much of it and want less or you don’t have enough of it and want more.

The longer the focal length on the lens the shallower the DOF, the wider aperture on the lens the lens the shallower it gets.

As a landscape photographer i am always looking for the deepest i can get. People tell me to get a really good one you need f22 or similar. The thing is i  shoot on f11 and now and then i drop it to f16 but thats not normally for increased DOF but for less light and longer exposure

I can do this as i tend to use a short focal length lens. When i drop on the zoom lens its a whole different ball game with the DOF altering significantly from 70-200mm

Here’s an example of long or deep DOF
Portencross Pier at the end of the dayShot on f11 not f22 or f16 so theoretically the depth should be negligible  but look at the image it has good front to back focus with the front (bottom) literally right below the camera and the back of the pier some distance away. With Arran petering off in the distance.

Here’s a couple of really shallow images, one shot at f2.8 the other at f5.6

Shallow at f5.6 200mm

Really shallow at f2.8

The exact opposite effect is required when shooting food or portraits for that matter. All you need is the barest of detail away from the main focal point. This helps focus the eye on the area you want it to focus on rather than becoming distracted by everything else.

With a shallow dof the focus becomes really difficult to control so its best not to use a larger aperture (f1.2-f2.8-f3.5) unless you are comfortable and able to control it . Its better to use a slightly smaller one as i have above to control the image better. The end result is easier to achieve.

Any questions leave a comment

Kit used

Canon 5dmkii

Canon 17-40mm L f4

Canon 70-200mm f2.8 is ii


I trust my images to smug mug

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