Photography basics: how to add depth to your photos

Shallow depth of field

Change the focal plane


Photography Basics: change the focal plane - f/16

This shot of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco shows how combining a small aperture with a telephoto can still isolate a subject yet retain detail in the far distance.

By focusing on the cactus in the foreground and shooting at f/16, the mountains that are miles away appear to be on the same focal plane as the cactus.

Photography Basics: change the focal plane - f/4.5

The same scene shot at f/4.5. The mountains in the distance are still recognisable.

Crop to fool the eye
By selectively cropping this vertical landscape that already has some depth to it, we’ve fooled the eye into believing that the scene is far more dramatic than it actually is.

Photography Basics: crop to fool the eye

A simple crop of the sides on most upright landscapes will add a greater sense of depth and impact.

Photography Basics: crop to fool the eye

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


Landscape photography composition: free cheat sheet
What is hyperfocal distance: 6 tips for sharper landscapes
5 accessories every landscape photographer must own