Shallow Depth Of Field Photos

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When it comes to photography, in that location are a myriad of tricks and techniques you tin use to aid tell your story. Whether it’south an artistic spin, a unique subject, or a technical selection you lot brand — these are all tools in your camera bag that can make your images uniquely yours. And, using a shallow depth of field is one of these tools.

Then, what is shallow depth of field, and how can you lot accomplish information technology? This article volition take a detailed look at shallow depth of field, otherwise known as DoF. Nosotros’ll explain what affect information technology has on your images. And, we’ll discuss the many different ways you tin can reach it.

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

What is shallow depth of field?

When we’re talking about shallow depth of field, it start helps to understand the depth of field, which we discussed in nifty detail in this article. But, to put it simply, depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest objects in a photo that appears acceptably sharp and in focus.

So, when nosotros’re talking about shallow DoF, objects in the background (and often in the foreground, too) are out of focus and blurry. Portraits, macro photographs, and wild fauna photography are often shot with a shallow DoF. They have soft, blurred, out-of-focus backgrounds that direct the viewer’s attention directly onto the subject of the photo.

The following images are examples of photos with shallow depth of field. As you can see, a very small plane of each photo is in focus.

Shallow depth of field
Shallow depth of field
shallow depth of field
Photograph by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash
shallow depth of field
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

On the opposite, here is an paradigm with a large or deep depth of field (you tin can use focus peaking), where most of the image is in focus. This is often the goal of landscape photography:

large depth of focus
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Why use shallow depth of field?

There are many reasons you’d want to accomplish a shallow DoF every bit a photographer. Information technology’s one of the all-time, and easiest, ways to highlight your subject while softly blurring out everything else in the frame that could exist a lark.

Use shallow depth of field to draw the viewer’due south eye exactly where you desire them to look and away from the things that are unimportant.

Other ways you can apply shallow DoF are to:

  • Simplify the background or remove distractions;
  • Guide the eye or draw the eye away;
  • Create a mood and soften the scene;
  • Create depth;
  • Give your portraits a more than professional look.

How practise y’all get a shallow depth of field?

There are several different means to achieve a shallow DoF in your photographs. We’ll discuss what affects the depth of field: aperture, focal length, sensor size, and the position of your subject.


The easiest way to achieve a shallow DoF is to use a lens with a wide aperture, or depression f-terminate — the lower the better. An discontinuity of f/i.four will produce a softer, shallower DoF than an aperture of f/four.

Focal length

While it’s the outset setting you should go to when looking to attain shallow DoF, the aperture isn’t the only affair that will touch your depth of field. Focal length besides comes into play. Longer lenses will generally produce a shallower DoF and it tin can be difficult to get a shallow DoF from an ultra-broad lens. And then reach for your long lens when you’re going for shallow DoF.

Sensor size

Your photographic camera’due south sensor size as well makes a deviation with DoF. Larger sensors, like those in total-frame cameras, will create a shallower depth of field than crop-sensor cameras.

portrait with shallow dof
Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

Positioning your subject

Lastly, the closer you and your photographic camera are to your field of study, the shallower the DoF will be. So, if you’re not achieving the shallow DoF you desire, try moving closer to your bailiwick.

Also, have your field of study move further abroad from the background. At that place needs to be some distance between the subject area and the groundwork in order for it to be out of focus.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how to attain a shallow DoF in your photographs, the side by side footstep is to become out in the field and try your hand at these techniques. How will you lot use shallow depth of field in your photography?