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Depth of field tutorial | Shot by Pete Dobres Australian Photography Tours and Workshops

When I’m out shooting and whether I’m by myself or running my photo workshops/tours, it’s always important to look at not only the different angles that one can shoot, but also to look at the depth of field.How much of the picture do I want in focus. Do I limit the depth of field so it becomes very shallow or do I have a greater depth of field in the picture. By limiting your depth of field you are highlighting just the subject. It will be sharp (providing you have focused correctly)  and your background will be blurred.Your eyes are drawn to just the subject and there are no distractions. This has many advantages to it and it’s good at times to mix this effect into your picture taking as it gives a point of showing that your  pictures don’t look the same. Having  a greater depth of field shows in more detail the surrounding scene where the foreground and background are in focus.  So which is better?

Never forget photography is very subjective, what one person thinks is a great picture , another will think, “ what’s the fuss about?” What one thinks is a great effect by using a shallow depth of field another will prefer more detail being shown in the shot. One is not more right than the other. It’s just want your personal preference is.That’s why even judging of pictures by photographic judges in my opinion is also very subjective and at times can be seen as complete nonsense by what the judges state.( that’s another story)

So when you are out shooting, don’t be scared to play around with your depth of field and give a different outlook in your pictures.

You will find that there are some subjects that it will work better with compared with others. Unless you try, you will never know. Be adventurous in your picture taking,try new things and look beyond the normal, well look beyond your own comfort zone and you’ll be surprised with what you discover.

Both set of these pictures were taken on f2.8 and f22. Camera was on a tripod. For those in the beginning of their photography, setting your camera on f2.8 with give you a shallow depth of field , that is what ever you focus on, thats it, it will be highlighted and the background will be out of focus  and at times the foreground can be out of focus as well.Setting your camera on F22, means that you have a greater depth of field and your foreground and background will be in focus. Now it will also depend on what lens you use to what effect that you get.A zoom to telephoto lens will give you a more dramatic difference as your shot is compressed as compared to a wide angle lens.

Go and have fun  and see what you come up with. Set the camera up on a tripod and take the same landscape scene of portrait shot on f2.8 and f22 and see what you achieve. Remember, using a telephoto lens or zoom lens zoomed in will give you a more dramatic noticeable difference.:)

The above picture shows a shallow depth of field and was take of f2.8.

The above picture shows a greater depth of field and was take of f22.

So what looks better, vertical or horizontal? There are times when it is worth setting the shot up and it will be made known to you very quickly which one you prefer with the shot that you are taking.

In my opinion, neither looks better, it’s what works for you. Every situation will be different as subjects will vary. The key is to be aware about your depth of field  and don’t be scared to explore the exciting realm of depth of field:)

Another example of Depth of Field is below. The first shot  was taken at F5.6 and the shot underneath was taken at F22.

IMG_5669blog      IMG_5663blog

 

 

 

 

Pete Dobré

Author Pete Dobré

Pete's photography is self taught. As a young child photography was an interest. His passion for the varying landscapes of Oz comes from frequent visits as a youngster, to his Gandparent's sheep farm in Barmera, a small country town in South Australia. Pete Dobré is a Freelance Photographer who blazes the trail for 6 months each year, capturing awe-inspiring images. Pete's work expresses his creative flair, emotions and love for the natural scapes of Australia. He remembers the hot day when he was 8, leaving town for the farm. His parents had an old car. Within about 2 kilometres of reaching the farm gate, they were bogged on a small red sand dune. The flies were buzzing continuously and the heat was beating down. Sticks, leaves and branches were wedged under the back tyres, to get the car moving. His mum was in a panic but Pete thought that it was exciting. From that moment he knew that he loved being out in creation, with the sense of adventure in the wild. This is where Pete's passion began. Photography for Pete is an expressive means for visual communication. He says, 'There is never a boring moment in my work. There is always something to photograph and I love being creative. The only limit to creativity is a lack of creativity.' Pete's aim as a photographer is to present images that provoke and stimulate the mind, to capture God's awesome creation and to share this with others. If Pete can do a little justice to God's creativity, then he is quietly satisfied. As a photographer Pete's inspiration and passion for his work comes from knowing God who created everything in the beginning. Knowing God, the Creator gives more substance and meaning to what he captures on film. Pete sees his role as freezing a moment in time and history which will never be repeated exactly the same again. The light, clouds and seasons will always be different. Pete's love for natural conditions at different times of the day, displaying varying moods and cloud formations makes his work very special and eye catching.

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