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Project 52 Week 5: Depth of Field

Welcome to week 5 of our Professional Pet Photography Blog Circle.  This week our topic is the area of sharpness (from near to far) within a photograph known as the “depth of field”.

Depth of field is influenced by many factors:  the focal length of the lens, the distance between you and the subject you want to focus on, and the aperture that you end up selecting.  Is there one that is most important?  For me, it’s “aperture”.  I shoot mostly with a larger aperture which results in a much more “blurred” background.  The lenses that I have been using the most lately are my 135mm 2.0 and my 200mm 2.8.  My 135mm I shoot with an aperture mostly between 2.0-2.8 and my 200mm and don’t think i’ve taken it off 2.8, ever.

Now that you know I keep the aperture set at 2.8 on my 200 mm, I decided to ask for a bit of help from my super cooperative model, Kota.  The following images are both taken at ISO 250, 1/500 at f/2.8.  For the first image, I asked Kota to sit about 5 feet in front of the tree beaches.  Notice you can see the outline of the branches, but still have a “blur”.


Depth of Field


For the next image I asked Kota to sit approximately 25 feet in front of the tree branches.   The farther away from other objects your in-focus object is, the more blurred they will be.  She wasn’t happy with all this “moving around” as you can see by the face she made for me.  Adding  more distance from my subject in focus and the background also gives a much smoother, dreamy, creamy look.




And just because it’s Super Bowl Sunday in just a few days with our team, the New England Patriots playing, I had to add an image with her brand new collar from My Lady Chloe!  GO PATS!


New England Patriots Dog Collar


The next 2 images are also the 200mm lens at f/2.8.  I changed my focus point in each.


Depth of Field


Kota Blog DOF 4 1 of 1


One of my favorite things to do in playing around with depth of field is getting some objects in the foreground blurred, especially snow covered branches in winter.  Here is an example from a few weeks ago after we had a snow storm:


Depth of Field


Thank you for stopping by this week’s blog circle!  Next up is Elayne Massaini pet photographer from Pet Photos, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Click on the link at the end of each post to follow along and see some amazing images taken by professional pet photographer’s around the world!  Have a wonderful weekend!!!


33 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 5: Depth of Field”

    1. Thanks, Linda – i appreciate it! The tail was a fun one – would not usually blur out an entire head, but I think it works!

  1. I love your creativity with focusing on the tail, but with the face in the frame as well – going to have to “borrow” that one sometime. That snow image is gorgeous, almost….ALMOST makes me want to move back to the North East! LOL

    1. Thanks, Tracy! I had fun taking that tail shot 🙂 The only reason i love the snow and New England is having a dog that loves it!!! She gets me outdoors!

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