Photography Help Is it Jargon ....DOF? what on earth is that?

Yes, sometimes us photographers do seem to speak double dutch!  I try not to but slip into it occasionally especially if talking to Malcolm, to be fair he is a little more technical than I am so I do it to impress! :)

DOF = Depth of Field

This is the focal range.  The distance between the nearest and furthest objects in the image.

If very little is in focus you will have a shallow depth of field as in the image below. 
(I would have used a wide aperture to take this image)
If all is in focus and sharp in the image you will have a large depth of field as in this image below.
(My husband would have used a narrow aperture in this image to ensure I was in focus too!)

To explain a little more:

  • Using a wide aperture you let more light into the camera, your shutter is faster and less time to capture all the detail in the image.  
  • In the image of lavender I focused on the flower directly in front of me using a wide aperture of F/2.8 meaning everything behind would blur.
  • The smaller the aperture means you will have more detail and more in focus in your photo.  The shutter is slower.
  • In the image of me beside the pond at Le Manoir (thought I'd name drop!) would have quite possibly been F/11 to keep as much in focus as possible, letting enough light in without camera shake.
I am a very simple creature and need to learn things in a very easy way.  So when I started out I used to remember by thinking it is opposite to what you may think ie:  

    • small numbers = large  
    • ie low numbers = wide aperture and large DOF
    • large numbers = small
    • ie high numbers = narrow aperture and shallow DOF 
Hope this helps anyone out there who wants to know DOF :)
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you are unable to understand, or if you can explain in easier terms!