Using depth of field to tell a story
Many photographers have a favorite aperture. Mine is f/2.8. Why? Because it allows me to tell a story…
Do your eyes go first to the plants in the foreground, then to the person standing in the blurry background? Do you wonder what that figure is looking at?
Using a shallow depth of field (DOF) is one way you can tell a story.
How, you ask? A shallow DOF allows you to have a primary subject in the foreground and a secondary subject in the background. By alluding to a secondary subject, shown blurry in the background, you engage the viewer and get them wondering about what the story might be.
In these examples the figures are looking away from the camera, but what if they were doing something, such as walking toward the camera or perhaps holding something?
This week, experiment with having a secondary subject blurry in the background. Play with the idea and see what stories you can tell!
If you shoot cityscapes, try putting a primary subject in focus in the foreground with the cityscape acting as the secondary subject in your background. In the below example, the LCD of my camera is my primary subject, and the NYC skyline forms the background.
Telling a story can be done in a single image…or in a combination of images. It’s up to you!
The above post is excerpted from Photography Essentials taught by Brit Hammer.
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