Examples for Understanding Depth of Field

In this beautiful landscape photograph, the depth of field is huge. From the flowers in the foreground to the clouds in the background, everything appears very sharp.
Here, the perceived depth of field is very large, probably several kilometers (or miles).
If that doesn’t help you visualize and understand the idea of a large depth of field well enough, don’t worry, we have an illustration that should help:
At first thought you might think large depth of field is always the way to go so you have as much of the photograph in focus as possible, but this is not true. Shallow depth of field can be very useful in a lot of situations and in certain styles of photography.

Shallow depth of field for example, can be used to focus more attention on a foreground subject, by blurring out the background. (This can be useful in portraits amongst other things.)
In this very successful photograph, the only area that is in focus is immediately close to the inside of the watch. Both the model in the background and the cover of the watch in front are very blurry.

In this photo the depth of field is very shallow, just a few centimeters long (less than an inch).
Here is an illustration for you that explains the concept of a shallow depth of field:
Depth of Field

At the end of this article, I’m posting a series of photographs of the same subject that were taken with different apertures. This will show you the difference in depth of field that happens as a result of using different apertures, as opposed to just reading about it.
However, don’t forget that Depth of field is influenced by three main factors: 1) Aperture, 2) Focal length, and 3) the distance to the subject.
[tags]depth of field, dof, dof tutorial, photo tutorial, photography tutorial photography tutorials[/tags]

By Laura

I started photography as a hobby in 2005, during college. My passion slowly became a more important part of my life since 2008. Because of using a combination of my photographic knowledge, with those of internet marketing, I like to call myself a "photomarketer".


  1. Great tutorial! I’ve been an artist all my life but am a novice photographer and don’t know a lot of even the very basics of camera technology and techniques so I found this helpful, thanks!

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