Depth of Field


Robert Adams, Denver, 1970 - 1974.























Aperture settings and depth of field
Robert Frank, Chattanooga, 1955.
Robert Frank, Trolley New Orleans, 1955.
Robert Frank, Detroit, 1955.
shorter depth of field (distance betwen camera and focus limit)
longer depth of field (distance between camera and focus limit)
allows more light in
with a blurrier image
allows less light in
with everything in focus
more defocus
more difraction











long-range focus (more depth of field)
mid-range focus (less depth of field)
Robert Frank, Movie Premiere, 1956.
Robert Frank, Leaving Blackfoot Idaho, 1955.











Aperture (f/stop) and Depth of Field











notice high contrast from difficult lighting conditions
notice the blur around the frame from difraction
Gary Winogrand, Kids at Zoo, 1962.
Gary Winogrand, Fort Worth, 1975.











Depth of Field Cheat Sheet











Three ways to change depth of field:
Change aperture (f/stop)











Change focus distance
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936.











Change the focal length a.k.a. zoom setting (if you have one on your camera)











f/stop (amount of light let in) and Shutter Speed (length of exposure)











low light, fast movement
daylight, slower movement
Gary Winogrand, Los Angeles, 1964.
Gary Winogrand, NY City, 1961.





















What were the photographer's conditions and camera settings?


Tina Modotti, Woman with Flag, 1928.











Edward Weston, Nude, 1936.
Robert Frank, Indianapolis, 1955.











Graciela Iturbide, Serafina, 1987.











Nicole Cawfield, Anti-Atkins Thin-Up Girl, Lacy, 2005.










Ansel Adams, Farm Workers with Mt. Williamson, 1943.