Tag Archives: Columbia River Gorge

WP Weekly Photography Challenge: Depth

5 Feb

I have decided to interpret this photography challenge by talking about and showing examples of depth of field (if you are just here for the photographs scroll to the bottom).

Depth of field is very important in photography. When I occasionally run across beginner photography tutorials I frequently see people talk about the tripod of exposure (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO). These three things are very important and a badly exposed photograph will be unpleasant. I, however, think that there are many other very important aspects of photography that contribute greatly to the visual, artistic, and emotional aspects of the end photograph.

One of these that I came upon later in my learning of the photographic process (i.e. as an adult not a child or teen) is depth of field. The aperture is of course a big player in depth of field, but until a few years ago that was not part of what I thought about when adjusting my aperture. The lens you choose its also a contributing factor in how much depth of field you have in a photograph.

When I think about depth of field I like to consider how it adds to what I am trying to show to see more or less of the area around my subject and what my actual subject is. Here are some examples:

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In the photograph above I wanted to have a lot of the photograph in focus because it is the entire scene that caught my eye. The entire scene is, in a way, all my subject. The flowers in the foreground and the clouds in the sky were all important to me. So using my wide angle zoom lens set at a higher aperture and using a slower shutter speed or higher ISO (or a combo of both) were the best way to achieve a depth of field that allowed for things closer to me and further from me to be in focus.

However, when I take photographs of flowers and want the focus to be on the flower itself I like a shallow depth of field as seen below:

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All of these were taken with my macro lens filters which pretty much guarantee shadow depth of field. As you can see the background in all of these is blurry, making no doubt that the flower is the subject of these shots.

There are still times when I forget to consider this important factor into my photography, but as I learn and grow as a photographer I find I think about it more and still enjoy trying shots in more than one way to achieve the perspective I am happiest with.

All photographs were taken at Tom McCall wildlife area in the Columbia Gorge in Oregon.

Here is the link to find out more about joining in the weekly photography challenge.

 

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