Depth of Field and Washi Tape

For this month’s photography blog circle, the group is exploring depth of field, specifically minimum depth of field. Be sure to complete the blog circle to see how my friends view depth of field. Next up is Carol Holt from California. See how she views depth of field here.

Depth of field sounds really technical but it simply means how much of the area of the photo is in focus. A minimum depth of field (or small or shallow) means only a small area of the photo is in focus. A large depth of field means a large area of the photo is in focus. The best way to show these are with examples.

The photo on the left has a shallow depth of field while the one on the right has a larger depth of field. I focused on the flower here. For the photo on the right, more of the flower, fabric and stem of the flower are in focus. Can you see it?

Adjusting depth of field is one way to put emphasis on an area in a photo. If you are wondering how photographers achieve that blurry background, it is with a minimum depth of field.

There are three factors and a combination of these that affect depth of field. These are aperture (size of the opening of the lens Рthe bigger the aperture, the blurrier the background and foreground), camera to subject distance (the closer the camera to the subject, the blurrier the  background) and focal length (how much you are zoomed in, longer focal length, the blurrier the background).

Here are more examples. I used a Canon 50mm, 1.8 lens for all these photos. This was shot with an aperture of 1.8 (the biggest this lens will open). For these three examples, I only changed aperture. Camera to subject distance and focal length remained the same.

Taken with an aperture of 1.8. The washi tape in the background look like blobs. I focused on the washi tape in the front.

This was taken at an aperture of 7.1. You can see how the washi tape in the background are more in focus and you can tell what they are.

This was taken at a smaller aperture at f18.

The same photos, side by side. Can you see the difference?

I’m sure you want to know which of the above photos uses the correct amount of blurriness. There is no right or wrong. It depends on the photographer’s vision, what he/she wants to achieve and personal preference. This is the best part of photography. ¬†Give different photographers the same subject and each one will photograph it in different ways.

Since I already brought out the washi tape from storage, I decided to cover my trusty iPhone 4s with it. I don’t see the need yet to upgrade to the 6 since this one still works.

A before photo of the back of my phone.

Sophia helped me decorate it. See how the washi tape in backrgound are not in focus?

Here is the after photo. Can you see how I blurred the background or used a minimum depth of field here?

Thanks for looking! Don’t forget to click here to see how Carol Holt views minimum depth of field.

April 6, 2015 - 9:07 pm

Heidi - I love how you are so detailed in your explanation and I love love the new look to the website!!!

April 6, 2015 - 11:22 pm

Carol - So pretty! Love the right colors!

April 6, 2015 - 11:38 pm

Nadeen - This is fantastic! Love the colors, too!

April 9, 2015 - 1:18 am

stefanie - Great post, Camille!! And I really love the web site updates!

July 6, 2015 - 7:42 pm

Fhely - I love everything about this post. I love the colors of the washi tapes and the project that you did for your phone.
I am so glad to stumble upon your Instagram and much more delighted when you follwed me and started to like my posts. I will surely be a reguar reader of your blog. I am excited to read posts about photography as I am learning to take good photos. :)

July 21, 2015 - 12:22 pm

Mia Sison - I love your tips! And the accompanying photos help me visualize the effects of apperture. You should teach a photog/styling class! :-)

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