Having depth of field in photos is something people love so I am here to share with you some tips in how to get that beautiful blurry, buttery, depth of field in your own photos. Let’s go!
In order to get depth of field (also called Bokeh) you are going to control the aperture of your lens. Every camera lens has an aperture but the width varies from lens to lens. For example my 50mm lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.2 while my 16-35mm lens has a max of f/2.8. For the most depth of field you want the widest aperture which is the lowest number.
I shoot manually so switch your dial to Manual (or Aperture Priority if you’re not completely confident in manual mode) and widen your aperture to its widest point depending on your lens choice, ie, f/2.0. If you can’t shoot manually, switch your little dial to Portrait Mode (usually an icon of a head) and the camera will choose it for you.
Something important to always consider is having your subject away from the background. These images are both shot at f/2.0 however there is little to no bokeh as they are standing directly in front of the background of the tree where the left image has a beautiful fall off with the background well away, so the focus is entirely on them.
Before you get shooting, its important that you have a focal point. There is nothing worse than an image with no focal point and when photographing people I choose a focal point of the eye closest to me and if its an object I’ll chose a point that is closest to me. For example both of these images below are taken with the same lens and settings with an aperture of f/2.2 and I focussed on the same thing for both images. When shooting groups of more than 2 people it is not really the time when you want to shoot wide open as you might get a few people out of focus but in terms of weddings, I always, always, ALWAYS focus on the bride in any group situation.
The closer you are to your subject, the more “drop off” you’ll have in your image. The above images of the yellow flowers are a great example of this as I simply moved forward to get a different photograph but also don’t just think in terms of forward and backwards but also up and down. You can see in the images below that the right image has more bokeh and all I did was lower myself and get closer to the plate. This was shot at f/2.8 and yes, it was delicious!