Beginners: 8 Tips for Creating Shallow Depth of Field

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Depth of field is a powerful element in a photo. Controlling it is one of the most important skills for a novice photographer to learn. In this article, I’m going to go over how the subject of a photo can be highlighted and enhanced by creating a shallow depth of field. It’s a very effective technique and easy to achieve with just a little bit of know-how.

Hopefully, you’ve been following our Beginner’s Tips and already know that the camera setting that controls depth of field (DoF) is the size of the lens aperture when you release the shutter. If not, I’d recommend reading the article here as well as this one, to understand how aperture size affects both DoF and exposure. Ready? Let’s get to it:

1. Choose your subject.

This technique works best when you know exactly what you want viewers to see as the main subject of your photo. It might be the face of your model, a single flower in a field of flowers, or the eyes of a bug in a macro shot. Know what you’re shooting and how much of it you want to be in focus.

2. Get some distance.

If possible, make creating shallow DoF easier by choosing a setup that puts some distance between your main subject and other elements within the frame, particularly the background. This will make the job of finding the correct aperture setting easier.

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