Creating a shallow depth of field (DoF) in your photographs is really quite easy and it looks amazing.
When I first began experimenting with depth of field I switched my camera to Aperture Priority Mode (A on the dial) and changed my aperture to the widest (smallest f number) it would allow at my desired focal length.
I chose Aperture Priority so I could focus on changing just the aperture setting to get that shallow DoF while the camera took care of the other exposure settings for me.
Then, I focused on an element in either the foreground or the background to leave room in the frame for the shallow DoF blur or bokeh. This is an especially pleasing technique to use when photographing people but you can get creative and use it whenever it serves your creative purpose like in food photography for example.
- Select Aperture Priority mode
- Set aperture to max (smallest f number)
- Focus on something in fore or background
I’ve included the images I made when I first experimented with DoF and the settings in case you’re interested. Before I got out the matches I had already used all kinds of household objects placed at varying distances from one another to see the effects. In the end, I really liked how well the matches showed the shallow DoF a wide aperture can create.
This was done with a Nikon D40x, an entry level dslr, so don’t think you need a top of the range camera to try this.
There are other elements that affect depth of field so if you’re interested I recommend reading further. There are loads of photography blogs out there; one of my favourites is Digital Photography School. Check out this post on the DPS site: How to Take Control of Aperture and Create Stronger Photos