Depth of Field

My new lens has smaller maximum aperture than my wide-angle does, so it doesn’t take shots as well in low light – but the focal lengths are so much longer (55-210, vs. 16) that I can get a much shallower depth of field.  In other words, I am having great fun with bokeh these days.


(Bokeh is the fancy word for a nice, artfully blurred background – great for creating perspective, in some circumstances, and for making the intended subject the center of attention.)

JohnIt’s particularly fun with holiday lights in the background, which make a lovely spots of color.  I love the sparkly little circles.

Holiday Bokeh


However, these were about the 3rd, 4th, and 5th photos I shot with my new lens…

beautiful bokeh

…and I quickly realized that the flip side of using a shallow depth of field is making sure to actually get your subject in focus before shooting.  Whoops!
Too shallow!

(But still, look at that background!)



10 thoughts on “Depth of Field

    • Good point – holiday bokeh is extra great with yarn in the photo! I sort of took those photos at random, and the yarn happened to be a handy subject – but now that you mention it, it all goes together well, doesn’t it? :)

  1. I bought a a 50mm f/1.8D AF lens for my camera last summer and haven’t taken it off since. I love being able to get that shallow depth of field and have the camera permanently on aperture priority with an aperture of between 1.8 and 3.5. Like you said it took time to get used to it and I probably overdid the blurry background a bit at the beginning, but now I can’t get enough of it. I can finally take the photos I see in my head, if that makes sense.

    • Hi, and thanks for visiting! (I’m going to stop by and check out your blog too, I promise, but yesterday and today I’ve been really busy..)

      I am pretty jealous of your f/1.8! That sounds like a wonderful lens. Do you shoot with Canon?

      I’m excited to look at some of your photos. :)

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