Shooting Shallow Depth of Field

One of my favorite ways to capture photos is using a shallow depth of field. This means that your subject is in focus while the areas in front or behind the subject are out of focus.

HiFiMan HE-400i Headphones
50mm; 1/200 sec; f/1.8; ISO 400

It’s a great effect and one that is easy to accomplish. All you need is the right equipment and settings. A couple of considerations for choosing a lens that will work is the aperture (e.g. f/1.8) and the focal length (e.g. 50mm). Basically, a wider aperture (smaller “f” number) and longer focal length will give a more shallow depth of field. I use a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens, but Canon and other companies make them as well.

Tulips shot shallow depth of field
50mm; 1/160 sec; f/1.8; ISO 400

Once you’ve got your lens, you’ll need to think about the positioning of your subject. The further your subject is from your background, the more blurry the background will be. You’ll also need to think about your aperture, or f-stop setting. The wider the aperture (lower the “f” number), the greater the effect.

Work and Izze shot shallow depth of field
50mm; 1/160 sec; f/1.8; ISO 800

Do you have any awesome shots with shallow depth of field? Share a link with us.

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Ethan Ruzzano Written by:

Ethan is a former musician and artist who is in love with being a dad. He balances his time between family, work and his other passions. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Casie and daughter, Olivia.

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