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Peak District Landscape Photography Tuition – Depth of Field

The following is a visual guide to Depth of Field (DOF). A simple demonstration that shows the difference of shooting with a wide aperture and a closed down aperture.

The following two shots were shot at f/1.4 and at f/16 respectively, this demonstrating shallow DOF to deep DOF. Shallow DOF is when the point of focus (the fence post in these photos) is sharp and the scene behind the focal plain is thrown to blur. Deep DOF is an image that is sharp all the way through the image front to back. This tutorial will offer a guide to how to achieve different results based on what you want the outcome to be.

Settings for Shallow depth of field:

Screenshot 2016-02-06 18.04.48Aperture Priority – this setting alters the shutter speed according to, aperture setting, ISO and available light. This is a great setting when creating landscape images and all the photography is done from a tripod. Shutter speed becomes less relevant when operating from a tripod. Furthermore the camera will constantly adjust shutter speed as light conditions change.

Aperture – f/1.4, the lens used is an 85mm prime lens, this means it is fixed at 85mm. At f/1.4 the aperture within the lens is wide open at the time of capturing the photo and allows maximum light into the lens.

Shutter speed – since shooting in Aperture priority the camera is taking care of the shutter speed. Since the aperture is wide, the shutter speed is fast, in this case 1/3000s.

ISO – ISO is the level of sensitivity to the level of a camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light, whilst a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of the camera. In landscape photography it is normal to use ‘base ISO’ the lowest number that this setting can be set at.

Focus point – the focus is concentrated on the post.

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Settings for Deep depth of field:

Aperture Priority – this setting alters the shutter speed according to, aperture, ISO and available light. Shutter speed becomes less relevant when operating from a tripod.

Aperture – f/16, the lens used is an 85mm prime lens, this means it is fixed at 85mm. At f/16 the aperture within the lens isScreenshot 2016-02-06 18.05.31 closed down to a small aperture and allows less light into the lens.

Shutter speed – since shooting in Aperture priority the camera is taking care of the shutter speed. Since the aperture is closed down, the shutter speed is slow, too slow to achieve anything handheld and in this case 1/20s.

ISO – ISO is the level of sensitivity to the level of a camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light, whilst a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of the camera. In landscape photography it is normal to use ‘base ISO’ the lowest number that this setting can be set at.

Focus point – the focus is concentrated on the post.

Now that you know the settings.. a wide aperture is ideal for the creation of flattering portraits, the shallow DOF makes the subject jump out from their setting. Deep DOF is the setting most used in landscape photography and setting the aperture anywhere between f/11 and f/16 will give front to back clarity in the image.

The following image is shot with shallow DOF in mind, done purposefully for creative effect. So the focus point is on the photographer and everything not on the same plane as the photographer is out of focus. This was shot at f/1.4. Once you start to play with effects of DOF you will find many creative ways to use it..

Screenshot 2016-02-06 18.06.24

Playing with DOF is fun and you can begin to find tricks of using fore and background fall off of DOF, this following image is a happy play with depth of field to the front and rear and across the image..


Enjoy your cameras and please let me know in the comments what you think of the post

By | 2016-02-06T18:13:34+00:00 February 6th, 2016|Landscape Photography, Photography Tuition|0 Comments

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