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Basic Depth of Field / Aperture Tutorial Video

This article has been updated. Please click here for the updated post and video.


Depth of Field videoEr.. OK.. here's a little video explaining the basics of controlling depth of field (what's in focus) with different apertures. The quality isn't brilliant, but it may give you a start.....


In the vid I hold up a piece of paper showing different aperture sizes, but it isn't very clear, so here's a version you can read!
Aperture and Depth of Field explained

The easiest way to control the Aperture in your camera is to use one of the AE or Automatic Exposure Modes - Program, or Aperture Priority. You use these modes because your camera will automatically make sure the shot looks good by changing the shutter speed as you change the aperture. When you get a bit more confident try out Full Manual Mode, with that setting you'll choose the Aperture and the Shutter Speed - useful when your camera's Automatic Exposure settings can't handle a particular scene.

So, to get a small depth of field (just your subject in focus, eg portrait, flowers) use a large Aperture (small F number). To get a large DOF (everything in focus, eg landscapes) use a small Aperture (large F Number).

Also remember that at small apertures (larger f numbers) your shutter speed will be slower, so increased blur with camera shake, or your subject moving, could be evident.

Here's a photo taken with a small aperture, F6.8, to maximise the Depth of Field to keep most of the shot in focus:
Arizona? Hamsphire!

Here's a shot taken with a larger aperture, F4, (and close to the subject) to minimise the DoF and make the background blurred:
On A Barbed Wire

Here's a shot taken at a very large aperture, F1.4, with a Razor-Thin DOF:
F1.4 DOF

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Rob

Reader Comments (1)

Very helpful post. The diagram with the aperture sizes and depth of field and also the example photos made the concept easier to grasp.

November 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamba

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