Shallow Depth of Field


Shallow depth of field can be used in photography to create softened and blurred backgrounds and highlight particular objects in the foreground in detail, to create a dramatic effect. It is particularly useful for up close photography and concentrating on small objects. This is due to the lens alignment in the camera being set to only focus on a narrow field of space, rather than into the distance.


For the purpose of the study the following question(s) were addressed:

  1. How is shallow depth of field achieved in camera settings?
  2. Are there particular settings that produce the best effects?



I propose that the use of a large aperture (small f no) should create a shallow depth of field, to allow me to focus of foreground objects with softened backgrounds.



Upon research I came across these examples of shallow depth of field, (SDF), that I found worth fitting to demonstrate its use.


I composed this shoot in in Sandy-Brookes woods in Preston due to it being a snowy day to capture the way that it had fallen on the trees. I a prime lens, with an aperture sizes ranging from f/1.8 and f/2 the widest available to the lens, to allow for the shortest depth of field.



I have found the progression within my images pleasing, which had a lot to do with the distance of the features in the background, which effected how blurred they became. I have learned that the use of wide aperture to create shallow depth of field, can be used effectively to create detailed imagery with softened backgrounds.



[1] CLADERA, A. (2016). The Ultimate Photography Guide To Depth Of Field. Photo Pills. [Online] Available from:                                                                                                                                            [Accessed: 09 May 2016]

[2] CAMBRIDGE IN COLOUR, (2016). Tutorials: Depth Of Field. [Online] Available from:                                     [Accessed: 09 May 2016]

[3] MEYER, J. (2016) What is Depth of Field in Photography. Digital Camera World. [Online] Available from:                                                                                                                                  [Accessed: 09 May 2016]

[4] ROWSE, D, (2016) 17 Beautiful Images With Shallow Depth of Field. Digital Photography School. [Online] Available from:                                                                                [Accessed: 09 May 2016]

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