I am a people photographer most of the time, but this cute little creature was at a corporate networking event held at The Living Dessert in California. I used shallow depth of field to bring attention to the head area.
Shallow Depth of Field can be used in multiple areas of photography to enhance your images. In the case of the image above, I was shooting with a F/1.4 24mm lens which creates a really shallow depth of field. Most consumer kit lenses range from F/3.5 to F/5.6; however, there are 50mm lenses available at F/1.8 in both the Canon and Nikon line that are affordable ( $125 or so ).
Shooting WIDE OPEN, meaning the lowest number setting on your lens, is something all photographers should practice doing form time-to-time to see how DOF (depth of field) can change how and image looks. For example, if I had the elbow, shirt and belt above in sharp focus, the image would not be the same. But with the use of shallow depth of field, the eye is drawn to the sharply focused area (the head) thus taking attention away from other areas. It also kind of creates a 3D effect with the image kind of popping off the page.
If you are a photographer and have not tested the F/Stop settings on your camera to see how it changes your images, you should make sure you spend some time playing with DOF the next time you have your camera in your hands. Depth of field can really make or break the quality of your images and should be a regular part of your photography arsenal.
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