PORTRAITS, DEPTH OF FIELD AND APERTURE SETTINGS

PORTRAITS, DEPTH OF FIELD AND APERTURE SETTINGS

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There are three things that create depth of field.it’s not just created by your choice of aperture!  

 Depth of field changes with:

  • Aperture – The higher your F-stop number, (the smaller your aperture) the larger your focus plane will be. (remember that low numbers mean large aperture, higher numbers mean small aperture)
  • Distance from your subject – the further away from the subject you are, the larger your focus plane will be

Focal length or zoom amount – the more zoomed in you are, the smaller the focus plane, and the more bokeh you will create.

 APERTURE SETTINGS FOR PORTRAITS A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB

  • 1 person = F/1.4 +
  • 2 people = F/1.8 +
  • 3 people = f/2.0 – f/2.8+
  • 4 people (family session, bridal party, etc.) = f/2.8+

5+ people = f/3.2, f/3.5, f/4.0 +

 GROUP PHOTO TIPS:

  • If you’re shooting a lower f-stop like 2.8, etc., make sure your group is in more of a line, and you’re standing parallel with them so they all are photographed in the same plane and no one is out of focus.
  • If it’s a more traditional, complex or large group family shot (some seated, several rows or layers of people) it’s probably best to start at an aperture of 4.0

 If you’re not sure what works for you with different lenses or different amount of people, get some friends and try a few group test shoots!

 Try several different settings standing in several different places with different lenses, then you can go home and analyze it and learn from it!! 

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Author: Fletcher K2Photographic

Fletcher is a Freelance photographer with images featured in Yachts and Yachting, Yorkshire Life Magazine and Equine Health Thoroughbred Owner and Breader. Commissioned work has included the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials; Bramham International Horse Trials; Hickstead Derby; The Motocross Nationals; Roger Albert Clark Rally; and the Pirelli Rally. Photography is his passion which is demonstrated through his work.

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