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    How to take good photos: 10 simple ways to boost your hit rate

    | Photography Tips | 21/02/2014 00:01am
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    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field

    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field

    Aperture is one of the most important features your camera has. Not only does it regulate the amount of light coming through the lens, but it also controls the depth of field (how much of your image appears in sharp focus).

    Technically, almost every lens performs at its best at an aperture setting two stops from its minimum (usually around f/8-f/11), and if you want optimum sharpness, this is where to start.

    However, it’s important not to confuse ‘optimum’ with ‘only’, and while getting the sharpest image is a worthy goal, a wide aperture setting (such as f/3.2) and shallow depth of field can be a far more powerful device for concentrating attention on a subject.

    SEE MORE: What is depth of field: how aperture, focal length and focus control what’s sharp

    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field

    With narrower apertures, you see more background

    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field

    Widen the aperture and all the focus is on the subject

    Blurring the background and/or foreground will make it obvious what the subject is and draw in the viewer’s eye, and can also help disguise potentially distracting or messy backgrounds.

    Conversely, a small aperture (such as f/36) will let you tell the full story in a picture, revealing everything from the nearest point to the furthest with equal clarity.

    This is something that landscape photographers rely on to ensure that both foreground and background detail is distinct.

    Your camera’s Depth of Field Preview is a great feature for checking this through the viewfinder.

    SEE MORE: Depth of Field Preview: the button behind every sharp image you take

    But don’t be afraid to flout convention. Doing the unexpected can create images that are just as striking.

    For example, shooting a landscape at f/4 may give you a unique sliver of sharpness across the scene.

    How to take good photos: 01 Think about your shots
    How to take good photos: 02 Get composition spot-on every time
    How to take good photos: 03 Ensure your basic camera functions are set correctly
    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field
    How to take good photos: 05 Use shutter speeds for creative effect
    How to take good photos: 06 Get the white balance right
    How to take good photos: 07 Get your camera’s ISO settings right
    How to take good photos: 08 Take control of focus
    How to take good photos: 09 Assess your shots in-camera
    How to take good photos: 10 Review and edit your images

    READ MORE

    DoF defined: controlling depth of field in photography
    Photography basics: how to add depth to your photos
    Focus stacking: how to increase depth of field in your photography
    Depth of field: what you need to know for successful images


    Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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