Focus, Aperture and Depth of Field

Digital Photography Homework Due 02/17/17

Please complete the following three tasks.



The Life of Rubbish, Photographer Unkown

Shoot a minimum of 36 exposures demonstrating a variety of depths of field created through thoughtful manual manipulation of aperture (f-stop), focus and proximity. You will turn in this assignment digitally prior to the start of our next class. Download the depth of field photos from your camera to your hard drive, collect them into a folder named yourlastname_depthoffield and then compress (zip) the folder. Upload it to our course Dropbox no later than 9:59 am on Friday, February 17. Folders uploaded after 9:59 will be considered late and will receive zero credit.

Don’t know how to compress a folder? Here are instructions for Mac and Windows.

Assignment Reminders

Shallow depth of field is a result of wide aperture (lower f-stop number) and/or closer proximity to your subject.

Deep depth of field is a result of narrow aperture (higher f-stop number), and/or further proximity to your subject.

Speaking of subject, you may take images of whatever interests you for this assignment so long as you are experimenting with depth of field. I expect to see that you have tried the following variations, preferably shooting the same scene multiple times using different techniques so you can compare the result.

  • Focus on a subject in the foreground, middle ground or background and allow the remainder of the image to blur by using a wide aperture.
  • Focus on a subject in the foreground, middle ground or background but keep the rest of the image sharp by using a narrow aperture.
  • Focus on a subject at close range to create shallow depth of field.
  • Stand back from a subject to create a deep depth of field.


As always, the make correct exposures.  When getting ready to take a photograph for this assignment, decide first whether you want a shallow or deep depth of field. This will determine the aperture you set. Once you choose an f-stop, you can then adjust shutter speed and/or ISO as needed.

Keep in mind that lower ISOs are usually desirable (if not always possible) to reduce noise. Also, if your shutter speed is less than 1/30, your camera should be mounted on a tripod with the timer set to avoid unintentional motion blur (hand shake).



Read Chapter 2: Lens from A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone.







Read the Guidelines for Project 1: Something from Nothing. Spend some quality time thinking about what subject you would like to shoot. Next week, I’ll ask you to share with me what you’re thinking about for a subject, why it interests you and how you think you might approach it. To prepare, you may want to jot down some notes for yourself.

That’s it. This upside down panda says have a great week!




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