Tech Tuesday…Depth Of Field Part 3

So far we have covered depth of field as it relates to aperture and focal length. This week we will discuss the relationship of distance to our subject and distance of our subject to the background.

The closer you are to your subject, the less depth of field you will be able to achieve to the point of mere inches of depth of field (closed all the way down) when using a macro lens at minimum focus distance. I was using a 70-200mm 2.8 VR at it’s minimum focus distance of 4 1/2’…

The farther away from your subject, the greater the depth of field. When everything is basically at infinity, you don’t even need to close your lens down very far to maintain depth of field throughout the frame. My distance scale on the lens showed the focus point to be at infinity in this image of Bryce Canyon standing on the edge of the canyon focusing on the hoodoos in the distance…

The closer your subject is to the background, the sharper the background will appear (even with a wide aperture). This sow and her cubs were ON the cliff therefore both the bears and the cliff face are sharp even at a relatively wide aperture…

However notice in the above image (the distant mountain in the upper right corner is out of focus) and the one below that the far background is rendered out of focus due to the distance of the foreground subject to the background. When the subject is a great distance from the background, increased depth of field (using normal procedures) is not possible even with the lens closed down…

Tip: want to get less depth of field to make your subject pop? Try getting down to eye level with your subject. This will put your subject at a greater distance to the background (in most cases unless your subject is up against a rock or bush, etc) giving you less depth of field and a softer background in addition to a more pleasing composition…

Images created with (in order) Nikon D2XS, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR. D2X, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR. D3, AF-S 600mm f4 with TC-14E II. D3S, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR with TC-17E II. D3X, AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR on Lexar Digital Media.