Even though we’re late in joining, we’ve decided to participate in the 2017 Pet Photography Challenge. This weekly challenge is hosted in a Facebook group, and was created to help anyone who joins to improve their photography through weekly prompts. I hadn’t decided whether I’d have the time to join but I know my photography skills still need work, and this is a great way to do it. This challenge is open to anyone, not just pet bloggers!
Luckily I came in at the right time, because this week’s prompt “depth of field” is a concept I was already familiar with. That’s not to say I didn’t have to refresh myself on how to achieve this effect, even though I already knew what it was!
Depth of field refers to how much of a photo is in focus. Shallow depth of field means that only a small area is the focal point, and the rest of the background is blurred, so that full effect is on the main subject of the photo. It’s a perfect concept for wildlife and pet photography.
Achieving shallow depth of field can be just a tad more complicated; though there are several ways to do it. The most popular is to use a low aperture (lens opening) setting, meaning your lens is open wider. That not only lets in more light, but limits the area of focus. You can also achieve depth of field by being closer to your subject, or having your subject a greater distance away from the background.
In the case of this photo of Samantha, I used my Nikon D5500 SLR with my variable length lens set at 50 mm, and an aperture of f/4.8. I was closer to her, and the room was quite bright, therefore my aperture didn’t have to be open as wide as it could have been. Focus is on her nose and face and fades away from there.
Have you ever tried this effect when photographing your pets? How do you think I did on this week’s challenge?