shallow depth of field examples


Macro photography will produce  a shallow depth of field, even at small apertures - this was shot at f-11.




This page is a small gallery of shallow depth of field examples.

This macro photo is of the suction cups on a shampoo bottle holder in the shower.

Exposure settings were 3.2 seconds at f-11.

I used 3 extension tubes on my Canon 5D with an 85mm prime lens. Even at f-ll the range of sharpness is only about 1/2 inch deep.


macro photography means shallow depth of field

Shallow Depth of Field Example #1



Every photo is this article is a close-up and with close working distances comes limited depth of field.

This first nature photo has just the right amount of shallow or "narrow" depth of field as it is sometimes called.

The background is fairly out of focus but we can still identify the trees.

Notice that in every one of these nature photos the sharply focused subject is placed near but NOT exactly in the middle of the composition.


Photo of a Lady Bug to Show Narrow Depth of Field

The easiest way to achieve a narrow depth of field is to get your subject as close as possible to the lens.

It is actually usually a challenge to get enough range of sharp focus when doing macro-photography.

The Ladybug photo has a nice composition because of the curved veins running through the flower petals.

The curl of the edge of the petal creates a framing device to draw our attention to the ladybug.


Monarch Butterfly Photo Used to Show as an Example of Shallow Depth of Field

The bright orange of the sharply-focused butterfly make a nice color contrast with the out-of-focus, green foliage background.

The splash of orange from the distant flower adds a bit of a secondary interest point which balances out the composition.

Bokeh is a another term that is related to narrow depth of field situations. What is Bokeh?


Shallow Depth of Field Example #2

This extreme close-up of the Wolf Spider is enough to make your skin crawl.

His hind legs are completely out of focus even though they are not that far away. It's the relative distance compared to the focus point's distance to the lens that drastically cuts down on the range of things that are sharp.


Shallow Depth of Field Example #3

The piece of candy with the I Love You message stands out for 3 reasons. First, it's the control of sharp focus to keep it sharp while the candies that are closer and farther away are a bit less sharp.

Secondly, it is the fact that it is the only piece with any writing on it at all. And finally, it is white which also makes it stand out.  These are the little things that, if paid attention to, make a significant difference in the impact any photograph will have on the viewer's perception of what an image is all about.

Your choice of aperture, of course is also a determining factor with depth of field. You must you a tiny lens open (the highest numbered f-stop) to get a reasonable amount of things in your macro photography pictures to be sharp.

It's often desirable to get a shallow or narrow depth of field when doing portrait photography.

Macro Photography. If you enjoy these close-up photos, there are more sample photos, tips and techniques related to macro photography here.  Would you like to share any of your own shallow depth of field examples? You can share your photos with other readers of Digital Photo Tips.

Shoot more photos.

Watch less TV.

Bruce



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