An introduction to aperture and depth of field
As I continue to take pictures for my final project each week, I am struggling with new and exciting ways to make my photos “strange” other than Photoshop effects. As a person with little to no photography skills before this class, I found this extremely difficult – that is until I discovered and began to play with aperture and depth of field.
Aperture is the size the lens of a camera opens when taking a picture. The larger the aperture (hole in the lens), the more light that is let in and vise versa.
Depth of field (DOF) is the amount of your shot that will be in focus. A large depth of field means more of the picture will be in focus than a small or shallow depth of field (where only some of the image is in focus and the rest is blurry.)
Now that the definitions are out of the way, it is important to note that aperture has a big impact on depth of field. A large aperture will give you a small depth of field and small aperture will give you large depth of field. A bit confusing, I know, but you get the hang of it.
Often, photographers use small apertures (large DOF) for landscapes and large apertures (small DOF) for portraits, to ensure the person is the focus on the photo. However, since this classes theme is focused on the strange, messing around with aperture and depth of field when shooting photos can make for interesting photos.
***** Some “point and shoot” cameras don’t allow you to adjust your aperture, but thanks to this past blog entry, I found a way to empower my digital camera.