Focus Attention with Shallow Depth of Field

cowgirl watching cowboys
Young Supervisor
St. Ignatius, Montana

One of the most effective techniques for directing your viewer's attention to the subject is using shallow depth of field. Depth of field is the amount of a scene from near to far that appears in focus. Using a wide aperture, such as f/4, and focusing on the closest subject causes the farther objects to appear out of focus. 

In this picture, I focused on the young cowgirl with her matching braid and hat. The wide aperture caused the cowboys and the mountains in the background to appear out of focus. Since we prefer to look at sharpness instead of blur, the viewer's eye locks right on the cowgirl.

Learn how to use aperture and other camera controls to create the pictures you want in Getting to Know Your Digital SLR Camera, an online course beginning November 2, 2020, at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Click here to register.