Photographic Tip #3 by Kevan Dobbie

The continuation of a new series of blog posts that are here and available for your reading pleasure, I have decided to not only tell you about the amazing Sigma brand, but to teach you about how to use your camera along with your Sigma lens to capture photographic content that you’ve always wanted to have.

In our last blog we discussed composition of a shot using the ‘Rule of Thirds” along with the utilisation of negative space and I showed an image of a bird of prey that I worked on. I also gave you my DSLR camera settings where we used Aperture Priority to capture such image. Thereafter before ending the last blog I asked you all try it out and send us some of your images as well as some feedback. Thank you to those who did. I received some lovely photographs, especially those of you stuck at home trying out these new techniques on your household pets, your children, spouses, and random odds and ends around the house. Not only did it mean a lot that you were reading the blog, but outing these techniques to test and it was very amusing for me to see what the public get up to during the lockdown that just looking at wildlife images, but that’s what this blog series is all about, learning in lockdown.

In this blog we are going to cover another important aspect that I have mentioned before, DoF (Depth of Field). Covering this aspect will allow us to advance our knowledge and help with clarity, focal length, distance to subject and of course aperture.

Now to understand these terms I’ve mentioned above, I mean when I first started out a camera was a camera and these two words were another language and I wasn’t keen on hearing it but once you understand it, it makes a world of difference and you’ll start to see a difference in your photography skills.

Aperture refers to the opening of the lens for light to pass through/enter towards the digital sensor. The size of aperture is measured in F-stop.

Depth of Field refers to the amount of an image that is in focus from front to the back.

By adjusting your aperture (F-stop) you take control of the depth of field. A Shallow Depth of Field means that only part of an image will be in focus, the rest generally quite blurred. A Deep Depth of Field means that most of the frame will be in focus.

Now that both these terms have are a bit easier to understand, let’s see how they work together with or in wildlife photography below. So, what I have done is I have picked two images:

Image 1: Flap-necked Chameleon







Image 2: Camel Thorn Sunset

Image: 1 Wide Aperture and Shallow Depth of Field

Image: 2 Narrow Aperture and Deep Depth of Field

Here are my settings used on my DSLR camera to capture my chosen images:

Image 1:

  1. Exposure Mode of Camera: Aperture Priority (Av)
  2. Focus: Automatic (Back button focus)
  3. Aperture: f/2.8
  4. ISO: 1600
  5. One-shot drive mode
  6. White balance: Daylight
  7. Metering: Evaluative

Image 2:

  1. Exposure Mode of Camera: Aperture Priority (Av)
  2. Focus: Automatic (Back button focus)
  3. Aperture: f/11
  4. ISO: 250
  5. One-shot drive mode
  6. White balance: Daylight
  7. Metering: Evaluative

Now that you’ve read up about Depth of Field and Aperture, try it out using settings from our previous blogs, settings I’ve used above and once again settings you feel works the best for you to achieve your own photographic potential when understanding Depth of Field controlled by Aperture measured in F-stop. Send us some photos and feed back on how these tips are assisting you. In each blog we will contribute in growing your skills as a photographer.


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Kevan Dobbie
Wildlife Photographer

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