3 Simple Composition Tips for Using Depth of Field to Capture Better Photos (VIDEO)

Whether you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, action or other types of photos, the proper use of depth of field will often have a huge impact on your results. As you’ll see in the eye-opening video below, you can use depth of field to advantage by following three simple rules of composition.

This helpful tutorial is part of the “Mastering Your Craft” educational series by SLR Lounge that appears exclusively on the Adorama TV YouTube channel. In this installment, photo instructor Pye Jirsa demonstrates a trio of composition guidelines using a variety of images that make the most of more (or less) depth of field.

Jirsa discusses how to best capture scenes with busy or “undesirable” backgrounds. Here, “You’ll want to pop on a fast prime lens and use a wide aperture.” As he explains, this helps create depth between your subject and the background. And you’ll see how slightly underexposing an image can often accentuate this effect.

Conversely, when composing a photograph with a beautiful background, you’ll often want to maximize depth of field by stopping down your lens. Jirsa illustrates how he used this technique when shooting wedding photos with a wide-angle lens on a gorgeous beach in Hawaii.

Jirsa provides exposure and lens information for these and other images in the tutorial, as well as a complete list of his gear in the description below the video. You can find more instructional videos from the Mastering Your Craft series on the Adorama TV YouTube channel.