Hi! I'm Jen Lebo. I'm here to help you with all things
photography! Life is more beautiful when you share it, so let's
connect and grow together!
Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite photography tips- using a shallow depth of field.
One of the most effective and beautiful ways to draw attention to the subjects in your portraits is by isolating her. I love when my images depict a sharp and focused face, and everything else just falls away into a sweet blur. This is referred to as a "shallow depth of field". Only one small section of your field is in focus, as opposed to a "deep focus" where everything from foreground to background is in sharp focus.
For a more technical review of how to change the aperature settings on your camera, check out one of my past blog posts HERE, but for today, let's try to keep it simple. Aperature is basically the amount of light you let into each frame. Open up your aperature (measured in f/stop numbers) and you allow more light in. Shut down that aperature (increase your f/stop number) and you allow less light in. The more light, the more shallow your depth of field will be.
Opening up my aperature and allowing more light into my images is one of my favorite ways to make an impact. With a shallow depth of field, viewers don't have to question where their eyes should go. They are naturally drawn to the face in focus, or the eyes, or whatever I choose to set in focus. It's so easy to lead others to what I want them to see when it's the one thing in focus.
I've been drawn to this style for years, this simple but effective way of isolating my subject of focus by simply blurring out everything else around her. But it wasn't until just recently that I realized how important this idea is in my walk with God too. I used to struggle so much with how to share my faith with others. Talking about Jesus is hard. You risk offending people you care about, or coming off sounding like an overzealous nut. And how do you start a conversation? Do you just randomly start, "Hey, let me tell you about Jesus!". Ummm.... no thanks.
But then I realized that, just like with my photography, all I had to do was isolate. If Jesus became the center of my focus, then everything else would just sweetly blur away. If my subject of focus was God, it would permeate into every other part of my life and ultimately lead back to Him. Those around me wouldn't need to hear some boring lecture about my faith (who wants to hear that anyway?). They could just look at me, and see the subject of my focus. Their eyes would hopefully be drawn directly to Him.
Isn't it beautiful how God works like that?
Don't get me wrong. On more days than I'd like, my eye is off and I end up focusing on a tree to the right instead of the beautiful face in front of me. But in photography, and in life, the beauty is that I always get a second shot. My camera (and yours!) is digital, which means I get to make mistake after mistake, and try again. I can always improve my shot.
And my God is faithful. And so with every off focus day, I'm assured new mercies. (Lamentations 3:23) And so I get to reshoot, to try again, to get my eyes fixed on Him, so that all else falls away.
What about you? Do you struggle with your focus when you are shooting? Or in your daily life? Where does your focus usually fall? What can you do differently to get the shot right?
Share your questions about photography or faith here! I'd love to chat!