Understand Depth of Field in 3 simple steps.

Yet Another interesting and easy topic for today. This one is my favorite for one simple reason.. I love playing with DoF (Depth of Field) just like below picture:


Let’s dig deep into this lovely topic…

1. What it means?1

Depth of Field = Literal meaning how deep our field of view is in the clicked photo.

That can also be re-phrased as how much part of the clicked photo is in focus and acceptably sharp.

Can also be translated as what all is clearly visible to the viewer.

Refer info graphic at your side…

2. How many Types it has ?

There are two ways DoF can be divided based on how much part is in focus.


i. Shallow Depth of Field

If only the focused object is sharp and rest complete frame at the back is comparably Blur… then its called Shallow Depth of Field.

Means only the object we selected having our attention (focus) is clearly visible to viewer, rest all is not clear enough to add/remove any information about the focused object.


ii. Deep/Large Depth of Field

If complete photo is sharp and all the objects present are
in good focus. That will make the photo to have Deep/Large Depth of Field.

It means everything, from start till the deep
inside the photo (both nearest and farthest objects) are of same sharpness.

3. Where we use different DoF?

i. Shallow Depth of Field

It is used where focused object is more prominent or we want it to stand-out among rest of the things in the frame.

Best example of it is…Macro Photography, Close Up Photography, Portrait Photography or anytime when you want object in front to have more attention than everything at back.

In all above genres the focused object is the Most Important thing and we want only it to grab viewer’s attention. And to do so we just make rest everything blurry using Shallow

One of my clicks below…here dried plant at front is in focus and at back all red flowers are blurry. So this exactly tells you about Shallow DoF.

Shallow DoF

ii. Deep/Large Depth of Field

When everything in the frame is of same importance so should sharp enough to have our message convey to the viewer accurately. Anything going out of focus will change the whole meaning and the intention why it was clicked using Deep DoF.

Example: Landscape Photography.

Where everything in the photo, from one small leave at front to that big giant mountain at the back along-with the river flowing in between are needed to complete the picturesque view.

Also it makes sure viewer is paying attention complete photo because everything in the frame is collaboratively completing the picture and our aim why we clicked it.

My below photo is perfect example of Deep DoF… see everything is in Focus. And can tell you that I paid attention to all of this objects and wanted to share the same with you.

Deep DoF

So that’s it for the day….

4. Conclusion

DoF is very important yet simple concept of Photography. Which is very easy to work with if you get to know which all factors effects it and how. It only requires lots of  practice of those factors and good understanding of your own perspective, as to why you want one type of DoF over other. Lastly how you well you can convey that perspective to the viewer with DoF.

That was just an introduction to DoF so that you have a brief knowledge about it before I talk about other more technical stuff as to how to change DoF in your pictures and what all factors are used to do so.

Hope you find this post helpful if yes do share it on Facebook/Twitter to help other fellow photographer friends.

And anything important or not so important to share… use comment section below to voice your opinion.


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