Depth of Field

In an on-going effort to get better shots with my camera, I took a class at the Camera Company to learn about depth of field.

Frankly, the camera jargon was a little difficult to understand.

It's the area of the shot which is in focus.

At left, the leaves on the branch are in focus framing the Pigeon Run Creek in the background.

The second shot uses a large field of focus and the fuzzy branches of leaves to frame the small falls.

Sometimes depth of field can be accidental - maybe you wanted to get a crisp shot of a flower but it was the background in focus.

Aperture, the size of the opening which allows light into the camera, is the starting point.  A large aperture (defined by small numbers) produces a shallow depth of field (focus).

A small aperture (measured by large numbers - do you think it's decided this way just to mess with our heads?) creates a large depth of field.

A wide shot of a landscape uses the large depth of field to make everything clear.

Other times a narrow depth of field isolates just one thing while the rest fades into background.

So far I seem to be more successful with narrow depth of field with inanimate objects.

It will take more practice before I might be able to manage an in-focus face with a slightly blurry background.  Maybe after a second class....