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Behind the Glass Part 3: Depth of Field

Daniel Hayek
August 15, 2011 by Daniel Hayek Alum

Depth of Field refers to the part of the image that is in focus. A deep DOF allows both the foreground and background to appear in focus, while a shallow DOF will only allow focus on a single area or subject. Let’s see what Vincent and Blake have to say about it in the video below!

Describes the size of the aperture opening. The lower the f-stop number, the bigger the aperture and the more light is able to reach the image sensor.
A low f-stop (large aperture) results in a shallow DOF. A high f-stop (smaller aperture) gives a deep DOF. To dive into this further, take a look at our lesson on f-stop and aperture here.

Shallow vs. Deep
Shallow depth of field means that a subject is in focus but objects in front and behind it appear out of focus. Less DOF is often desired when shooting portrait, close-up and macro shots.

Deep depth of field means that all or most of the picture is in focus from front to back. It is often used for capturing subjects in the distance. This is also preferable for documentary work, as you don’t know how the subject will move and it is easier to pull focus.

Now Get Playful!
We’ve given you a handy overview of the different lenses available, a breakdown of what focal length is, and finally, a peek into the wonders of DOF. Now we implore you to experiment with this newfound brain food. Utilize the functions of your lens for increased dramatic effect and to better tell your story! Remember kids: your lens is your friend.

  1. 1.
    Join Blake as Vincent Laforet explains the world of lenses. Learn how to distinguish a prime from a zoom lens and more!
  2. 2.
    Focal length is a critical element of lens selection. Watch and learn as Vincent teaches Blake the basics of choosing the best lenses for different scenarios.
  3. What do a barbarian and an astronaut have in common? They both want to teach you about depth of field. Don't believe us? Read on!


Dub H

Great job on all 3 videos. Informative and hilarious

Shiply PRO

Very useful tips here. The sense of humour makes it a lot easier to consume :)

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