Depth of Field - Capturing Near And Far In Focus

By []H. Veronika Gaia

Scenic nature photography can be a challenge as nature landscape photography needs to have an image with good depth of field. Digital photography provides spontaneous feedback with a digital SLR camera and LCD screen. So, challenge yourself to take your camera off the automatic mode and try the below techniques for achieving a new level of nature photography art.

• If you want true depth of field, use a tripod. Place your camera in manual mode and set your aperture to F16. Depending on the light, you might have a slow shutter speed. If you increase the aperture (F stop), the shutter speed will automatically decrease. Photograph your nature scene at different apertures and notice the change in depth of field. If you have this feature on your camera, become familiar with the depth of field preview button. Notice what is sharp near and far in your photographic composition when you use a higher aperture.

• If you do not have a tripod, try these techniques as different assignments to learn the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and depth of field.

Set your camera on Aperture priority mode. Start with F16 and see what shutter speed appears with this combination of aperture and light. Since you are hand-holding your camera, make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/30 second or higher. If not, lower your aperture. If needed, change your ISO setting to a higher number. Have a good shoulder-width apart foot stance for stability or brace yourself using a building or tree for balance.

Set your camera on Shutter priority mode. Start with a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second and see what aperture appears with this combination of speed and light. Photograph a series of nature landscape photography scenes while increasing your shutter speed to higher speeds. You will notice that your aperture decreases as you do so. Check for depth of field with these combinations. Keep yourself balanced for stability as you photograph.

Many novice photographers leave their cameras in automatic mode and are fearful to attempt other features on their cameras. However, when exploring these features, even beginners will notice a dynamic change with their photographic results. This assignment will take little time. It will help you to understand the concept of depth of field in nature photography and it will enable you to use more of the features of your camera effectively.

H. Veronika Gaia is a teacher, writer and nature photographer. She believes that every person can make a difference in our world and that provides opportunities for you to make your contribution by purchasing with a purpose. Veronika sells inspirational nature photography art as greeting cards, motivational posters and fine art prints with peaceful intentions for self awareness, human potential and community service. Please visit her website at

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