Examples of Depth of Field for Jewelry Photography

Examples of Depth of Field are used in this free tutorial on the relationship between f-stops, aperture and depth of field, and how it affects what part of a photograph is in focus.

One of the problems most designers have when photographing their necklaces, bracelets, and earrings is blurry or partially focused photographs.

  • Part of the problem may be from camera shake, which means your hand is not steady enough when taking a picture. To remedy this, mount your camera to a tripod when taking photographs.

    The other problem is understanding what an f stop or aperture is in your digital camera, and how it affects what part of your picture is in focus, especially if you use macro mode to get close up shots, which reduces the amount of depth of field available in a shot.

F Stops

  • F-stop is a term used to denote the diameter of the aperture, or the thing in your lens that controls how much light is available to your camera sensors when taking a picture. The common range for f-stops goes from f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22; and it is possible to get f-stop sizes smaller than f/22…. But we won’t go there for this article, as most digital cameras don’t go beyond f/22 without jumping significantly in price.

    The thing to remember with depth of field in photography is that the smaller the number, such as f/2, the larger the diameter of the aperture, which means your camera sensors get more light. The larger the number, such as f/22, the smaller the aperture opening and the more light your camera sensors will need to take your photograph.

    Why do these f stop numbers matter? They directly relate to the amount of photography depth of field that is available for taking pictures in focus. Take a look at the following illustration:

  • f-stop-depth-of-field

Depth of Field

  • Depth of Field refers to the range within your focus point that stays in focus.

    The smaller the f-stop, the less of a range you have in which to keep your picture in focus.

    For instance, f/2 will give you an inch or two range of focus for your subject matter, but f/22 will allow you to keep an entire landscape in focus.

    This all has to do with some complicated maths that deals with the relationship between your camera sensors, your aperture and its distance to the lens, and the necklace you are photographing.

  • examples-of-depth-of-field

Macro Mode vs. Depth of Field

  • Hopefully you are still following me in these examples of depth of field. There is, however, one more thing you have to consider, and that is Macro Mode. Macro mode, if available on your camera, simply means that, once turned on, your camera is able to take pictures within inches of your subject matter.

    “There is, however, One Deadly Catch with Macro Mode"   

    The big doozy is this: The closer you get to your subject matter using macro mode, the more your depth of field diminishes. Take a look at the next diagram to get an idea of what happens to your depth of field with macro mode on.

    I am sure you have tried photographing earrings before and noticed that sometimes you get just the ear wires in focus and everything else is blurry, or your headpins look great, but everything else is just a tad fuzzy. These are examples of depth of field at work.

  • macro mode in jewelry photography

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