Everything you need to know about Shallow Depth of Field

What is a Shallow Depth?

Shallow Depth of Field closest and farthest objects in an image. This is a very sharp focus in the image. There are two types of depth of field. The names are- Shallow Depth of Field and Great Depth of Field. This is a very basic fact of photography techniques. This is a simple common technique to make fantastic looking images. It is also known as a small depth of field as well as a narrow depth of field.

Shallow Depth of Field

Image Source: Pixabay

When to use Shallow Depth of Field?

When anyone wishes to focus on a small area of an image then he/she uses shallow depth of field. Photographers often use this technique and blur the backgrounds around a fixed subject. Besides, it helps to clear your object from other parts of an image. For portrait photos, photographers use this.

Aperture setting for Shallow Depth of Field and Deep Depth of Field?

To click the picture when we push the shutter open button of a camera, a hole opens up. The aperture is the size of that hole. Aperture is also known as lens setting. Light passes through it. We call the sharpest aperture of a lens a sweet spot. It controls to take pictures.
Shallow Depth of Field
There are many ways but the aperture is a good way to adjust this. Images’ sharpness and light depend on it. A large opening or wider aperture size helps to catch more lights. Wildlife shallow depth of field photography is one popular example.


Deep Depth of Field

Deep depth of field is the opposite of the shallow depth of field. We can capture the picture of deep depth of field by narrow size aperture. It means the larger area in focus. So, it keeps a large space of a picture clear and sharp. The narrow depth of field is good for landscape photos.

Tips for creating videos with Shallow Depth of Field?

We should shoot with a wide aperture lens at an f-stop number. We already know that this is a very quick way to get a shallow depth of field photos. But these types of lenses are costly. In this case, we can use prime lenses too. Because in general, we need large-aperture lenses for still photography. To shoot videos no need to spend thousands of dollars on large-aperture zoom lenses.

Shallow depth

Image Source: Pixabay

Use a telephoto lens

To get more depth of field we can use telephoto lenses too. In actual these lenses are 85mm and no doubt wider than the 50mm lenses.

Creating Distance

You should create distance between the subject and other objects. This increases more background blur in the frame. Besides, you should move your subject close to the camera. This also helps to blur the other parts of the image more and you get shallow depth of field.

Need a Full Frame Camera

We can use a full-frame sensor to get a shallow depth of field. The reason is we need to use a 31mm lens to get a 50mm equal photo. A large lens blurs the background less.

shallow lens

Image Source: Pixabay

How to achieve?

We can achieve a shallow depth of field with a low f-number or f-stop. This is around 1.4 to 5.6— to let enter more light. It puts the plane of focus between a few inches and a few feet. We can blur the foreground of our photo, it depends on the subject and the area of the focus point.

Some other tips :

Focusing Eyes :

If we fail to focus the eyes of the subject, then we can lose the audience. For shallow depth of field photography, we must concentrate on this fact. It is not that much important but eyes make the best focus points when we perform complex focus.

Need Monitor with Focus Assist :

To see our footages in the big format a portable monitor can help us. Small LCD monitors are not so effective. High-end reference monitors assist to focus information in detail. It makes sure if our focus is in right the place or not. To take pictures of a large depth of field this is helpful.

focusing eyes

Image Source: Pixabay

Follow Focus :

If we adjust the focus with our hands, there is a chance to shoot over or under the focus. For shallow depth of field photography, a follow focus can help for sure. It is a small wheel in actuality.

Use ND Filters :

There is no doubt wide aperture helps to take a photo of wide depth of field. But when we wish for an outdoor shoot we can’t get that image. The bright environment makes the images very bold. In this condition, ND filters act as sunglasses for the camera. It cut down the entering light. So, under bright sunlight, an ND filter is good for shoot.

Finding the Marks :

It is important to mark the focusing object and the actors too. To shoot a video or film follow focus permits us to keep markers with dry-erase markers. If we do not have a follow focus, then we can also use a pencil to mark. Anytime we can remove the marks of the pencil later. Gaff tape is also beneficial to label actors’ marks.


Challenges with Shallow Depth of Field

  • We should not rely on the tools too much.
  • We should change the styles to take photos to become more creative and interesting.
  • We must remain sure that our field of focus is wide enough. For this, we should take at least 3 to 4 shots of a picture. Photographer Boyd also believes that. Three shots will hold everything we want in focus and others we don’t want out of focus. Bracketing is important for this reason too.
  • We must remember that we can also use the shallow depth of field to defocus something. This attracts someone’s interest and makes them wonder more about it. Photographer Stephen Klise believes this too. So, we should keep in mind that what we should blur and what is our main object.

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