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Beecher's Handouts >

Depth-of-Field >

16.1 - Introduction

Depth-of-field is a valuable composition tool.

When you focus on your subject—that's where the focus is the sharpest.

However—there's a zone in front and behind the subject that's acceptably sharp.

This acceptably sharp zone is the depth-of-field.

Compare the two photographs below.

In each, the camera was focused on the crystal paper weight.

The top photograph has very little in focus.

The depth-of-field is shallow.

There's more in focus in the bottom photograph.

It has more depth-of-field.

q

Shallow Depth-of-field

q

Deep Depth-of-field

The amount in focus, the depth-of-field, depends on three factors.

1) Lens opening

2) Distance from the subject

3) Sensor size

We'll look at each of these factors.