Adventures in DoF (Depth of Field)

Spent some time at Balboa Park trying to play around with depth of field on my new camera and lenses.

This first example shows a comparison of how finely you can control the depth of field and focus points. This is a pitcher plant (a totally cool carnivorous plant), with the focus points in two different spots (the first on the little “teeth” on the left, and the second on the bottom “lip” on the right.

In this next photo, I was trying to reduce the depth of field as much as possible. It’s taken at a focal length of 250mm, and a f5.6 (as wide open as my lens gets at that zoom). As you can see, the DoF is impossibly shallow. I thought I had the fig in focus, but it looks like I focused in on just the upper right of the stem, which left the fruit itself blurred.

2 thoughts on “Adventures in DoF (Depth of Field)

  1. Love the fig picture! Thanks for telling me it was a fig. It looked like one of those new desserts at Starbucks. I imagined it to be tasting like grape pudding.

    Am I allowed to ask questions here?

    What does ‘reduce the depth of field’ as much as possible? Is that like ‘zooming in as much as possible’?

    Also, I’m always getting

    • Yes! Questions are great!

      In simple terms, the “depth of field” refers to the amount of the image that is in sharp focus. This can be very shallow (as I was trying to achieve above), with a very narrow area in sharp focus, and the rest of the image achieving a blurry effect. This is great for trying to highlight a specific part of your image.

      Alternatively, you may want a very broad depth of field (for example, in a landscape photo), where both the foreground and background are in sharp focus.

      The primary means of adjusting depth of field is through the size of the aperture (, which is basically the size of the lens opening, which controls how much light you allow into your camera.

      It’s easy to go much further into this topic, so I might do a post on this later!


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