Posts Tagged ‘depthoffield’

Focus Stacking for Speed: Researcher Invents Light-Efficient Photography

Google scientist Sam Hasinoff has come up with a technique called “light-efficient photography” that uses focus-stacking to reduce the amount of time exposures require. In traditional photography, increasing the depth of field in a scene requires reducing the size of the aperture, which reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor and increases the amount of time required to properly expose the photo. This can cause a problem in some situations, such as when a longer exposure would lead to motion blur in the scene.

Hasinoff’s technique allows a camera to capture a photo of equal exposure and equivalent depth of field in a much shorter amount of time. He proposes using a wide aperture to capture as much light as possible, and using software to compensate for the shallow depth of field by stacking multiple exposures. In the example shown above, the camera captures an identical photograph twice as fast by simply stacking two photos taken with larger apertures.

Light-Efficient Photography (via Amateur Photographer)

One Advantage of the Small Sensors in Cell Phone Cameras

Cell phone cameras have pretty poor image quality when compared with point-and-shoot cameras due to their small sensors, but one advantage they have over compact cameras is a naturally deep depth of field. That was particularly useful for this YouTube user in capturing some sharp video of his new motorcycle — something that would have been much more difficult using a standard point-and-shoot.

(via Fstoppers)

Samsung Might Give Compact Cameras Shallower DoF with Second Lens

A compact camera probably isn’t the first thing someone would grab when looking to make a photo with an extremely shallow depth-of-field, since the small aperture and small sensor limit it in this regard. That might soon be different: a recently published patent application by Samsung shows that the company is looking into producing achieving shallow depth of fields with compact cameras by using a second lens to create a depth map for each photo.
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A Detailed Explanation of Depth-of-field and the Factors That Affect It

Learning how to control depth of field with your camera isn’t too difficult, but do you know the science behind how it works? This uber-educational 20-minute video lesson gives a thorough explanation of depth of field and the different factors that affect it. It was made by artist Justin Snodgrass, and is also available for download (and in parts) over on his website.

(via Petrucci Francesco)

Frazier Ultimate Lens Shows Everything in Focus with Massive Depth of Field

The Frazier Ultimate lens is like the universe’s anti-matter to the Canon 50mm f/1.0 that we shared yesterday. Rather than have a tiny depth of field and tons of bokeh, the Frazier lens is one that has massive depth of field, allowing both the foreground and background of the image to be in focus at the same time. It’s widely used in Hollywood and in wildlife documentaries, and the video above shows some of the visual tricks you can do when having infinite DoF.

InfinityLens (via Reddit)

DOF Calculator Helps You Take Sharp Landscape Photos

DOF Calculator is an app for Android phones that helps you easily calculate depth of field and hyperfocal distances. Simply tell it your camera, lens, and aperture setting, and it’ll spit out the numbers you need for optimally sharp landscape photographs. You can download it for free by searching for “DOF Calculator” in the Android Market.

For a quick video tutorial on how hyperfocal distance works, check out this post.

DOF Calculator (via Lifehacker)

Quick Hyperfocal Distance Tutorial for Sharp Landscape Photographs

The concept of hyperfocal distance is used in landscape photography to achieve the greatest depth of field and acceptable sharpness for both near and far objects. In the two minute tutorial above, wildlife photographer Chris Weston walks through some hyperfocal distance focusing techniques. You can also find a couple informative tutorials at DOFMaster and Cambridge in Colour.

Omni-Focus Camera Boasts Infinite Depth of Field

Researchers at the University of Toronto have come up with a new video camera that can achieve infinite depth of field even when objects are immediately in front of the camera. What they did was stuff an array of video cameras into a single camera, with each camera focused at a different distance. Software then calculates the distance of each object in the scene, and selects the individual pixel that has the object in focus. The resulting image is one in which every object, both near and far, is in focus.

Maybe in the future consumer cameras will also have an array of cameras, allowing us to have much more control over the photo (or video) in post-processing.

(via PhysOrg)

Image credit: Photo and illustration by the University of Toronto

Using a Shallow Depth of Field for Portraits

People often use a shallow depth of field in portraiture to separate a subject from the distracting background, allowing the face (more specifically, the eyes) to be in sharp focus while the background is blurred. Instead of doing this, sometimes I enjoy focusing on something closer towards me, putting the subject’s face out of focus instead and drawing the viewers attention to something else. Here are some examples:


Even if what you choose to focus on does not have any meaning or significance, it can still make the photograph much more interesting than if everything were in focus.


Here I blurred the face enough to bring attention to what I want the viewer to focus on, but not so much that the viewer cannot tell who the subject is or what the facial expressions are.


Combine the shallow depth of field with interesting angles and creative framing to spice up the portrait even more.


Using a shallow depth of field can help you communicate something about a person in a unique way. My friend Joseph often fell asleep on the floor of my room during long undergraduate nights. Here I chose to focus on his hand while telling the story in the blurred background.


Here I tried to make the photograph more interesting by combining a shallow depth of field, a unique angle, and a wide-angle lens.

How to Take This Type of Photograph

The main technique for taking this kind of photograph is to focus on something and then recompose the photograph before taking the picture. The two main factors that will affect how blurred the background are relative distance and the aperture.

For relative distance, the closer you move in toward what you’re focused on, the more blurred the things in the background (i.e. the face) will be. Thus, you might need to get in very close to the point you’re focusing on in order to throw the subject’s face out of focus, and doing this might require a wide angle lens.

Also, the larger your aperture is (lower f-number) the more blurred the background will become, so to achieve maximum blur you should use the lowest f-number your lens allows.

If you have any other suggestions, tips, or examples regarding this technique, leave a comment and share!