How to Achieve Great Depth of Field
Where do you focus in this shot to get the foreground, the waterfall and the canyon in focus?
You control depth of field using your aperture. On your camera’s LCD screen that’s the f/number, also called an f/stop. We denote an f/stop, by writing “f/” followed by the number designation “4.” For example, f/4. While minimum and maximum f/stops vary on camera lenses, most have an f/4 and an f/22. To increase the depth of field, you stop down the aperture by moving from a smaller f/number to a larger f/number. For example, if you change your f/stop (f/number) from f/4 to f/11, you get more depth of field. A rule of thumb for depth of field is this:
- The larger the f/number, the more depth of field. More depth of field = more appears in focus.
Note: the way I state this works and is easier to think about and conceptualize, but a higher f/number is a bit of a lie. F/stops are actually fractions, so f/4 is 1/4 and f/22 is 1/22. So, in reality f/22 is a smaller number than f/4, but if that confuses you, ignore it and think about it this way: the larger the number, the more depth of field.