Depth of field creates drama in an image

Depth of field is an essential aspect of videography that can help you create stunning visual effects. It refers to the range of focus in a scene, from close-ups to wide shots. 

In this post, we’ll explain what depth of field is and why it’s important for videography. 

What Is Depth of Field? 

Depth of field (DOF) is the area within a scene that appears in sharp focus. It can be used as a creative tool to draw attention to certain elements or objects within the frame while blurring out others. 

The amount of DOF depends on several factors, including the focal length and aperture settings being used. A shallow DOF will typically be achieved with a wide-angle lens and a large aperture, while a deep DOF will be achieved with a long lens and a small aperture. 

What is Shallow Depth of Field? 

A shallow depth of field is when a video has a very small range of focus. It gives the image an ethereal feel because the background is out of focus while the subject remains sharp. 

This effect draws attention to the subject, while providing context to the scene without being distracting or competing for attention. It also adds an element of mystery because you don’t know exactly what’s going on in the background. 

How Do You Create Shallow Depth of Field? 

To create this look, you need to adjust your aperture setting on your camera or phone (depending on your device). The aperture is essentially how wide open your lens is when taking a video; it affects the amount of light coming into the lens, which then affects your depth of field. 

A wide-open lens (or a low f-stop number) will give you a shallow depth of field, while stopping down your lens (or increasing your f-stop number) will provide you with more depth in focus. Experimenting with different f-stops will help you find just the right look for each shot.

Aperture isn’t the only factor that affects depth of field, though; distance from your subject and focal length also plays an important role in creating this effect. The closer you are to your subject, or if you are using a longer focal length lens, the more that can help thin out your background even further, making it easier to achieve this look! 

Why Is Depth Of Field Important For Videography? 

Depth of field is an essential element in any video production because it helps viewers understand what they should focus on. 

If you use shallow DOF when shooting certain scenes, you’ll draw attention to the subject at hand without distracting from it by adding too much detail in the background or foreground. This technique can also add drama and emotion to your videos by emphasizing certain elements within the frame and blurring out others. 

On the other hand, if you use deep DOF when shooting certain scenes, you’ll create a sense of context by showing more details in both the background and foreground. This technique can help create a more complex atmosphere by allowing viewers to take in more information about their surroundings without feeling overwhelmed or confused.  

In conclusion, depth of field is an important element of videography that allows filmmakers to control where their audience should be looking within each shot. By using shallow DOF, filmmakers can emphasize specific features within their scenes, while using deep DOF creates an atmosphere by giving viewers more context about their surroundings. Understanding how to use depth of field effectively will provide videographers with more control over how viewers experience their creations.

Not quite sure how to handle DOF yet? That’s what the experts at Keller Media Works take care of for you. Take a look at how we use depth of field in recent projects.


From start to finish — pre-production planning all the way through post-production – we’ll ensure every aspect of your project meets the highest standards for quality. So whether you are looking for Maine videography, travel production services, or need to bring life to a commercial or nonprofit film – let us collaborate and create video to reach your goals!