Weekly Photography Assignment – Beginners Class | Depth of Field

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Starting this week, I am going to be posting a weekly assignment, here, and on my facebook page.

This week’s assignment will be to understand depth of field, and how just changing aperture settings can change the perspective / DoF in our pictures.

What I want you to do in this photography assignment:

You will click and upload two  photos (read again – “click” and upload – so no digging through your photo libraries) as part of this assignment.

The photos can be of any subject that is about 2 to 4 feet away from your camera.  It’s the weekend, so go out in the open and do this exercise.  The background should be very far from the subject – Something that’s more than 100 feet or more.

While I recommend using a tripod for this shot, it is not important.  It will help, however, in a frame to frame comparison later.

How will you shoot the photography assignment

For your first picture, using a focal length of anywhere between 50 to 70 mm,  focus on the subject and click with your aperture setting as wide open as your lens permits.  It doesn’t matter if you are shooting at f/1.2 or f/5.6 :  What matters is that this setting is the widest possible aperture for your lens at this focal length.

Now, for the second shot, there are only two things you will change.  Aperture, and Shutter Speed.  Since this assignment is to explain depth of field, you will change the aperture on your lens and close it down to the maximum possible limit.  For some lenses, it might be f/16, for others may be f/22 or f/30 .  Whatever the shortest possible value, choose that.  If you are shooting in full manual mode,  change the shutter speed to allow sufficient light for a proper exposure.

Remember, in both these pictures your exposure key should be dead center, so that your camera takes a consistent exposure in both settings.  The focal point and view should remain consistent through both these pictures.

Here is how the two pictures will and should look like.

Weekly Photography Assignment f22 for DoF Weekly Photography Assignment f4.0  for DoF

Submitting your photography assignment

Once you have clicked the pictures, please send them to me on a private message on facebook, from my profile or my facebook page.

Make sure you mention the f/stop value for each of the picture when you send it to me.

I will upload them here, and we will then start comparing notes and discuss everyone’s pictures in the common forum.

Cheat sheet for this photography assignment

In case you have any issues taking the pictures (especially for beginners), here is the neat little trick – Set your camera in Av (for Canon) and A(for Nikon) mode, and select the smallest possible number for the first photo, and the highest possible number for the 2nd photo.  Let your camera do the rest itself.

In case you do not use a DSLR, you can still do this assignment, here’s how:-

Set your camera in PORTRAIT mode, and use a 2x zoom, which should set your lens capacity to a wide open format.  Once you have taken the picture, go to LANDSCAPE mode and take the 2nd picture, but remember to focus on the same subject/object as in the first one.


Here’s hoping that this helps you understand the concepts in a greater detail.  Next week, another assignment.

Happy shooting, let me know how it goes in the comments below.


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