Last newsletter we discussed the basics of composition and the rule of thirds. This newsletter we will delve into composition a little deeper and discuss tips on creating a sense of depth in your photographs.
Depth in a photograph is an illusion it is an illusion that photographers depend upon to create three dimensional photographs. Depth is created by a careful manipulation of several elements to lead a viewer’s eye into and around a photograph.
Depth of Field
Creative use of depth of field is a very effective technique for creating the illusion of depth in a photograph. Depth is not necessarily achieved by simply stopping down to f22 and creating as much depth of field as possible. In fact in many situations this is the opposite of what you should do. Placing compositional elements in the foreground and or the background that are not in focus will emphasize the third dimensional illusion of a photograph. Using aperture settings of f5.6 or less emphasizes the object or plane that you have focused on. Careful use of just enough subject sharpness is one of the most critical decisions that a photographer can make when composing an image. I recommend getting to know how to use your “depth of field preview” on your camera, not all cameras have a “depth of field preview,” check your camera manual to see if your camera is equipped with one. A post-exposure view of the image on the camera’s lcd monitor is not adequate to critically analyze depth of field in many situations.
For more about composition check out our People and Place workshop.