Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Landscape photography – depth of field

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Depth of field is the limitation of perceived sharpness within a photographic image. The greater the depth of field, the more of the image from front to back that appears sharp. An image that is said to have a shallow depth of filed has a short and more specific depth of sharpness.

In photography, careful use of depth of field can be a very powerful tool indeed. It can force viewers to focus only upon that which is sharp, by utilizing a shallow depth of field. As our eyes are not comfortable in viewing unclear images, we then tend to look at the parts of an image that is sharp, and our gaze will then focus upon that part of the image, rendering the other unsharp parts of the image as blurry and not worthy of our attention. This use of a shallow depth of field is particularly well suited to portraiture. As long as the eyes are sharp, most other things can be forgiven if they aren’t pin sharp. People and animals tend to look at the eyes first, and so the eyes really need to be sharp in nearly all portraiture photography.

Landscape photography is generally at the opposite end of the scale of depth of field, where the vast majority of landscape images require a very long depth of field. This is due to the fact that landscapes generally are trying emmulate an actual scene as we see it, and viewers are usually drawn into the image by its great depth of field.

Depth of field is controlled in two ways. The most commonly used is by aperture control. The smaller the aperture (the larger the number ie. F22), the greater the depth of field. The larger the aperture, (the smaller the number like F2.8), the shallower the depth of field. The apertures inbetween have a depth of field is that is directly proportionate to the aperture selected along the scale. The second means of controlling depth of field is by using a camera or lens that enables the lens to be tilted forward or back. This enables the focusing plane of the lens to be more inclined to the plane of focus of the subject matter, and hence providing a much better depth of field without a change of aperture. It is one of the major reasons for using bellows type cameras, or tilt lenses. With such a camera or lens, one can have a huge level of control over depth of field at any aperture.

Depth of field is also dictated by the focal length of the lens, and the camera format for which the lens is used. For instance, a wide angle lens always has a much greater depth of field than a telephoto lens. A very wide angled lens such as a 14mm lens has a depth of field so great that it almost doesn’t require focussing, wheras a 600mm telephoto lens has an extremely shallow depth of field, and unless focussed upon long distance subject matter, the depth of field will always be very limited indeed. On the other end of the scale are macro lenses, which are made to be able to focus very closely to objects. Once you start moving in and start focussing very closely, the depth of field again becomes extremely shallow indeed. The closer you get to the subject, the less the depth of field becomes, and in extreme close-ups just the slightest movement will cause the image to go out of focus entirely.

Geoff Ross


Digital Photography Success | Web Article Directory

Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.
Anonymous

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen

 


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