Thursday, October 25, 2007

Effect of aperture on depth of field

I recently did a silly little test that every photography book tells you to do as practice, but for some reason I had never done. The test is to show the effect of aperture on depth-of-field. The more open the lens (smaller f-stop), the shallower the depth of field is and conversely, the smaller the lens opening, the larger the depth-of-field. Also focal length plays into the equation. Here is a simple calculator that shows you the depth-of-field for a certain f-stop/focal length combination. Strange that I never actually did it as I use the effect all the time in my photography to for example isolate people from their backgrounds. It is the number one thing that makes people think you are a professional, so it is a good idea to know how to use it. Here is an example of a prime Nikkor 50 mm/1.8 lens on a DX Nikon DSLR:


As you see, the depth-of-field is extremely narrow and does not even extend throughout one leaf.


At 2.8 the depth-of-field is much less narrow and several leafs are in focus.


At 5.6 most of the field is in focus, but the extremes are still blurry.

And finally, f/11

Basically everything is in focus. If you go much further on a small sensor (DX) DSLR, you will loose resolution due to diffraction. In the last image, at f/22 this is the case, but fortunately, you will never see this at websizes, you will even have trouble seeing it in largish prints.


Again, simple, but I thought an effective demonstration.

Lastly, a demonstration of the effect in a simple portrait:

Bride getting ready:

As you can see only her right eye is in focus. Her left eye is already out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I started setting up a site to sell photographs from weddingshoots. After lots and lots of research, I started using They have incredibly nice galleries and a very easy to use ordering system for your clients. So far, I love them. If you sign up, use code O4fziJ8xijDDw in the referral field. Saves me and you money. Check out my page too!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Arvada art studio tour

I live in a small suburb town between Denver and Boulder called Arvada. Every year a studio tour by local artists is organized. As you might expect the level wildly varies. We visited some interesting photographers here too. The first ones that struck my fancy were Charlie and Susie Brown. They make some extraordinary pictures. A lot of them are vertically or horizontally digitally stitched panoramas that show a really good eye. I loved the vertical panormas. Very impressive work. Their presentation was absolutely lovely. I loved that lots of the work was done on the 6 MP Canon 10D, more proof that your camera doesn't matter. Check out their website for sure. I also saw some work by Ron Rathbun that was interesting. Ron is a more traditional photographer that shoots exclusively Velvia slide film. His wife makes western style watercolors. Wonderful people and wonderful artworks. Check out their website. I will be sure to participate in this fun event too next year.