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Depth of Field

April 30, 2008

So one of my friends in my Nature Photography class does not understand what exactly the aperture does to a picture (neither did I until my photo class this fall.) The aperture (f-stop) controls the size of the opening of the lens. And it effects the depth of the field that appears in the picture.

Small F-stop (ex. 5.6) is a large opening to let in more light. Because the opening is very big the camera can only focus on a small area. This often creates a blurry background. For example in the following picture.

The short depth of field also makes a end to the picture and the eye can’t travel to a point beyond the picture. This leads to long depth of field. So using a small opening, large f-stop, you can achieve a long depth of field. Often everything in the picture is focused and the eye wants to travel to through the picture clearly and often to a point not visible.


So there we have it, short depth of field, part of the picture is blurry, long depth of field, entire picture is focused.

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