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Cameras 101: 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 but 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, whereas large numbers are better for detailed images.


Depth of field photography

Uses of Shallow Depth-of-Field

  • Photographing portraits of people.
  • 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.


Cameras 101: What is Depth of Field?