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Total Newbie Photo Tips – #1

Total Newbie Photo Tips – #1

This is part one of a series I am going to be posting on tips for people new to photography. Some topics will be covered here in the blog, whilst others will be covered in depth in my newsletter (which you should definitely sign up for, over in the blue box on the right).

These “lessons” will be directed towards the total newbie photographers, those who may not have even purchased their dslr (digital single lens reflex) camera yet, or only just got it out of the box and have no idea what any of the dials or buttons do.

Some topics I am going to be covering include product photography, baby photography, working with models, posing techniques, makeup artists, working the camera, basic lighting, editing and retouching (eyes, skin, face, body) and creative editing. In each topic covered I will go through how I personally achieve a certain effect, how I work with someone, or how I use my camera. These tutorials are simply my way of sharing my knowledge, as I found when I was just starting out, that many photographers were keen to keep their knowledge to themselves, which makes it very hard to learn. Some will be quite short and simple, others longer and complex (yet still easy to understand).

So, here goes!

Series: Working your camera
Topic: Shallow Depth of Field (DOF) Photo

Here is an example of a photograph with a shallow depth of field:

Shallow Depth of Field example

Shallow Depth of Field example

Shallow depth of field means that only a small section of the photo is in focus. Whatever is on the same plane as the object you have focused on, will also be in focus. Most other objects in the photo will be out of focus (blurry, also called Bokeh).

How to do it:
This technique is very simple. All you need to do is set your aperture to a low number. The easiest way to do this is use the Av setting (Aperture priority) on your camera, and turn the number to the lowest possible (which will depend on your lens). You will need fairly good light for this, so first try take some photographs with a low aperture number outside.

The aperture used for the example image was 2.8. Anything under about 4 can produce a nice shallow DOF photograph.

Good luck! Let me know how you go =)