Mini Professional Photography Course: Depth of Field

Enrolling in a photography course will be a great way to start work as a professional photographer. There are many different skills that you will be required to master to take good photographs. Although you will learn a lot as you go along, it is a good idea to spend time studying the art, so that you can understand all of the basics. One of the most important basic concepts to master is depth of field.

If you understand the depth of field and the difference that it can make, then it will make it possible to create high quality professional looking photographs. This will make it much easier to create photographs that you are proud of.

Step 1: Understanding Depth of Field

In order to understand how you can use depth of field, you must first understand exactly what it is. The depth of field is what your camera can see and the portion of the photo that will stay in focus. Sometimes, you will want your camera to capture exactly what you see. In this case, you will need to understand how to manipulate the depth of field to control exactly what is in focus.

Step 2: Using a Point and Shoot Camera

If you have a simple point and shoot camera, then changing the options in the menus might not be possible. However, it will still be possible to use depth of field. To do this, simply change between using the landscape and portrait modes.

Landscape will give you a sharp foreground and background. Portrait will set the depth of field so that just the foreground is in focus with the background being blurred.

Step 3: Adjusting Settings

If you have a more sophisticated camera, then you will be able to adjust the settings manually. To do this, press the menu button on your camera to access the settings manually.

Step 4: Deciding on Subjects

You will now need to look at your scene and decide exactly what it is you want to see in the picture. If you want to blur the background and make sure your subject is properly in focus, then the aperture can be set at f2.8 and the shutter speed should be around 1/125 seconds.

If you find out that your images are over or under exposed, then you can adjust the shutter speed or aperture slightly. If you are trying to take a photo where the foreground and background are both in focus, then you should start with the aperture set at f8.0.

Step 5: Testing and Adjusting

The suggested apertures are just a starting point. You should then adjust and modify the settings until you get the desired result. Take photos with your digital camera and review them on the screen. This makes it possible to decide whether or not your camera is set correctly.

You will have much more control over the depth of field with DSLR cameras. If you do have a point and shoot compact camera, then your options will be much more limited.