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What is Depth of Field?

Depth of field, or DOF, indicates how much of the image you choose to put in focus. When you choose a subject to focus on in the foreground and decide to leave the background blurry, that's shallow DOF. Deep DOF leaves you with a sharp photograph in both the foreground and background. To change your DOF, change the aperture or f-stop number when you set up a shot on your digital camera. A small number for an aperture will give you a shallow depth of field shot. Large numbers are great for detailed images.

Uses of shallow depth of field

  • Photographing portraits
  • Capturing dynamic angles in street photography
  • Documenting events in a unique fashion

Uses of deep depth of field

  • Recording fine detail in landscapes
  • Taking a picture of a product for a website or catalog
  • Documenting still life and nature shots