Over my nearly twenty years of teaching university photography classes, I’ve come to discover that one area that students often have the hardest time mastering is depth of field. Whereas beginning students usually manage to work well with their cameras in manual mode, which forces them to make their own selections of apertures and shutter speeds, they often seem to overlook using a limited area of focus to create more striking images.
I think one explanation for why this approach isn’t explored more by many students is that they aren’t active enough when they’re out shooting. They see something in the distance that interests them, and I fear too often they just take the shot from that point and don’t investigate much further.
What, then, is depth of field (DoF)? Basically, it’s the term used to describe the area in a photograph that is in focus from the point nearest to the camera to the point furthest from the camera. What’s interesting about this concept is precisely that this distance can change radically according to different settings and choices made by the photographer.
What Creates Different Ranges of Focus?