3 ways to affect depth of field: free cheat sheet

Depth of field, or ability to control which parts of your pictures are sharp, is one of the main advantages of owning an SLR camera. Look at a scene with your own eyes, and everything from your feet to the horizon is usually in focus. But your pictures do not need to look like this.

You can set up your digital camera so that only certain parts of the shot are in sharp focus, and others are artistically blurred. This allows you to create emphasis where you want it - and to hide elements that would otherwise prove distracting.

Your lens can only focus sharply at one distance. However, due to the optical property known as 'depth of field' a range of distances will actually appear sharp. This zone of sharpness will vary enormously.

Our latest photography cheat sheet examines three common ways you can affect depth of field. Our infographic looks at how aperture, focus distance and focal length will affect what appears sharp in your images.

Simply drag and drop this cheat sheet on to your desktop to save the larger version as a handy reference. And if you liked this, you might also like our infographics on understanding the color temperature scale and our portrait lighting cheat sheet.

3 ways to affect depth of field: free cheat sheet