Monday, March 29, 2010

Instructor's Tip: Depth of Field Basics, Part 2

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured the above image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Photo by Russ Burden

Depth Of Field Basics - Part 2
Controlling the Depth of Field: With regards to focal length, the wider the angle of the lens, the more inherent depth of field it will produce. If the goal is to create images with lots of depth of field, stick with wider lenses. Conversely, as one progresses from medium to long telephotos, the depth of field becomes more and more narrow. This is why many landscapes are made with wide angle lenses and portraits are made with medium telephotos. Once you get to 300mm and greater, depth of field becomes very narrow and careful placement of the focusing sensor over the area of the subject that is most important is critical.

The last two factors that impact the range of sharpness both deal with distance. The closer you get to your subject, the more the background and foreground fall out of focus. This happens because the lens has to focus closer to its closest focus point which translates to distant elements falling out of the range of focus. The same principal holds true given the relationship of the distance of the subject from the background. If the subject and background are close to each other, then the proximity of all elements is such that most everything is sharp. Conversely, if the subject is moved far away from the background, the lens isn’t able to sharply render both the subject and the background which is far away. Both of these effects are enhanced using a telephoto lens with a low number f stop and both are reduced using a wide angle lens at a large number opening.

Take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Check out Burden's "How To Tips" featured on Outdoor Photographer's website. The seven that are dated February 4th are his. Just underneath the articles, be sure to click on page 1 to see an additional 9.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Burden's most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

To learn more about this subject, join Burden on one of his photo tours.

No comments:

Best Posts

Picture Your World Photography is a premiere photographer in the Denver, Colorado Photographer community on