Photography basics: how to add depth to your photos

Shallow depth of field

Understanding the principles of perspective is one of the photography basics that everyone learns starting out, but even for more experienced photographers it’s worthwhile to revisit this technique to find new creative photo ideas to enhance your images and add a sense of depth.

Through a variety of camera tricks and techniques you’ll be able to take control of your picture taking. Your choice of lens, aperture settings and your point of view are just some of the factors that can dramatically alter the illusion of depth that appears in your images – master these photography basics and you’ll be well on your way to creating dynamic images.

Photography basics: how to add depth to your photos

What is Depth of Field?

 

Depth of field is the term used to describe the areas before and beyond the point of focus that also appear sharp. You can control how large this area is through your choice of aperture and lens. An image can be totally transformed by using a wide aperture such as f/2.8, which will throw a boring or messy background out of focus.

Shallow depth of field

Shallow depth of field
This image of some berries shows how opening up the aperture to its widest setting of f/2.8 and focusing on the bunch to the right has thrown the background out of focus and created a shallow depth of field. This makes the berries really jump out from the scene.

Deep depth of field

Deep depth of field
By focusing on the same cluster of berries but closing the aperture down to f/20, a greater depth of field is created and the focal point has become lost in the background. One of the photography basics for landscape photographers, this technique can be used to effectively draw subjects together on the same focal plane.

PAGE 1: What is depth of field?
PAGE 2: Perspective and the focal length
PAGE 3: Using a long lens
PAGE 4: Change the focal plane

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