Depth of field photography
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Depth of field photography wedding images
Using depth of field in wedding photography
Depth of field images
What is Depth of Field? Depth of field wedding photography. Manchester Photographers.
Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp. Now your camera can only focus sharply at one point. But the transition from sharp to unsharp is gradual, and the term ‘acceptably sharp’ is a loose one! Without getting too technical, how you will be viewing the image, and at what size you will be looking at it are factors that contribute to how acceptably sharp an image is. It also depends on how good your vision is!
Scientifically, it is based on something called the circle of confusion. This involves more physics than I’m going to get into here! Spencer talks about it in his article “Hyperfocal Distance Explained.” So check that out for more of the technical details if you are so inclined.
In these two sketches, I have tried to illustrate what is meant by a narrow and large DoF. In a photograph with a narrow DoF, only a small slice of the image is in focus. Conversely, with a large DoF, much more of the scene is sharp.
Another important factor affecting depth of field is the distance between the camera and the subject. The shorter that distance, the smaller the depth of field. Have you ever tried to take a close-up shot of a flower or insect, but can’t get the entire subject in focus, even with a small aperture? This is because the closer you are to your subject, the shallower the DoF.
Look at these two sets of images. The camera-subject distance in the first group of pictures is 1.5m. After each shot, I stopped down the aperture. The second set has a focus distance of just under a half a meter. Notice two things. In each set of pictures, as the aperture narrows, the DoF increases. In addition, for each pair of photos shot at the same aperture, there is more depth of field when the camera-subject distance is greater.
Prime wedding lenses and high end cameras. Focal Length of the Lens
Wide-angle lenses (short focal lengths) have a deeper depth of field than telephoto lenses (long focal lengths). Well, not exactly! It isn’t quite as cut and dry as that. If you take an image and do not change the camera-subject distance, this is true. You can see this illustrated in these two sets of images below. The top set is shot at a focal length of 70mm. The bottom set at 105mm. Both sets were taken at a distance of 2m from the subject. Notice how for each pair of images shot at the same aperture, the DoF is larger for the narrower focal length lens.