Last week the assignment from Digital Photography School was on DEPTH of FIELD. Learning how to manipulate depth of field will launch your photography into a whole new realm of creativity and fun. I’ve been having fun playing around with aperture sizes all week long and having a blast.
In a nutshell, aperture is the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. The larger the hole is, the more light gets in. The smaller the hole is, the less light gets in. Aperture has a big impact upon the depth of field (the amount of your shot that will be in focus) and you can use this to your advantage.
For instance, blurring the background in the picture below causes your eye to be drawn to the tape measure and results in making it stand out more. I chose a large aperture (small f-stop #2.0) for this picture.
Conversely, choosing a small aperture (large f-stop#11), gives a larger depth of field bringing everything into focus. This shows you that my notebook is just as cute as the tape measure!
I just need to decide what I want your eye to look at and then adjust accordingly. Opening the aperture up wide is ideal for portraits. If you are able to blur the background then your subject will pop out. Closing the aperture down is ideal for landscape photography because you want your whole panorama in focus!
If you don’t have an slr camera where you are able to manipulate f-stops (aperture sizes), no worries! You can still accomplish these same shots with your point and shoot by manipulating that creative mode dial on your camera. To achieve a shallow depth of field with a blurred background, use the PORTRAIT mode. For everthing to be sharply in focus, use the LANDSCAPE mode.
So, give it a try this week! Move your dial off AUTO and have some creative fun!