Deep Depth Of Field

Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Deep Depth of Field,” creating compositions that rely on focus being sharp from near to far using all the tools of the deep focus kit—wide-angle lenses, closeness of camera to foreground subject, and as narrow an aperture as the lens and light could support. Readers responded with nature, scenic, urban, and abstract images, all made using some or all of the techniques described. There is something that is completely “photographic” about this technique, as the eye cannot “see” this without the aid of photography—it flicks around the real world from point to point quickly enough, of course, but there’s no set moment—except the photographic one—that makes all sharp from the nearest blade of grass to the farthest mountain.

Monument Valley Dawn

David Lenhert sent this startling image of bracketed exposures using a GND (Graduated Neutral Density) filter and Photomatix HDR blending. He worked with a Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at f/16.
© David Lenhert

Sidewalk Bench

Scott Hartwick made this photo in downtown Phoenix of a bench that brings its lines to a vanishing point with focus from front to back. He worked with a Nikon D5100 and a Tokina 12-24mm lens and an exposure of f/22 at 1/15 sec.
© Scott Hartwick

Red Rock

These highly textured “petrified dunes” in Snow Canyon State Park, Utah, served as the jumping off point for focus that goes from the very front to the distant hills. Photographer Jeff Dye used an aperture of f/22 on a Fuji FinePix S2 Pro and a Nikkor 12-24mm lens mounted on a Gitzo carbon-fiber tripod with an Arca-Swiss ball head.
© Jeff Dye

Golden Gate Tennis Court

Arnold Benetti made this photo in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park with a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. Exposure was f/22 at 1/250 sec.
© Arnold Benetti


The elaborate decorations on the boat from stem to stern sits at a dock in the magnificent Venetian canals in this photo by Tom Faranda. Exposure with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 18-200mm lens with a circular polarizer was f/11 at 1/125 sec.
© Tom Faranda

White Horse & Barn

The pale horse and barn serve as perfect counterpoints in this image by Catherine Terroni. To ensure sharp focus she exposed at f/20 at 1/320 sec at ISO 400 using her Nikon D5000 and Sigma 8-16mm HSM lens.
© Catherine Terroni

Walk On Water

The colorful grass tufts seem like stepping stones in this lake in northern Wisconsin. Rob Wiener made the shot with a Pentax K-5 and a Pentax 12-24mm lens. Exposure was f/19 at 0.7 seconds.
© Rob Wiener

Monument & Mountain

Butch Hera used deep depth of field to tell a story about the ongoing work at the Crazy Horse Monument. Exposure with a Canon EOS D30 was f/8 at 1/250 sec.
© Butch Hera

Peggy’s Cove Light

Victor Krasenics took his image of this Nova Scotia landmark with a Nikon D200 and a Nikkor 17-35mm lens. The three HDR shots at f/8 were blended in Photomatix.
© Victor Krasenics

Manhattan Bridge

Joe Constantino created an expressive view of this iconic NYC bridge with a Panasonic Lumix FZ40 camera with an exposure of f/8 at 1/300 sec; all the girders and struts are sharp, near to far.
© Joe Constantino

Otter Cliffs

Photographer Ken Craven wrote: “The image extends from 1 or 2 inches in front of the tripod leg to infinity. I focus at twice the distance to the nearest object that has to be sharp.” Exposure with a Sony A700 and a Tamron 11-18mm Di-II lens was f/11 at 1/8 sec.
© Ken Craven


Paul Benjamin made this photo on the shores of a lake in the Canadian Rockies with a Canon EOS 20D and a Canon 10-22mm USM lens; exposure was f/19 at 1/8 sec.
© Paul Benjamin


Bordered by wildflowers and topped by clouds, this idyllic scene shows how deep depth of field can reveal all the beauty of a landscape scene. Janet Pearson made an exposure of f/25 at 1/30 sec on a tripod-mounted Sony A700 with a Tamron 18-200mm lens.
© Janet Pearson

Endless Fence

A pasture fence is an ideal subject for deep depth of field studies, and here Stephen Hirsch adds forms and point of view to create a peaceful scene for the eye. Exposure with a Nikon Coolpix P510 was f/7.8 at 1/200 sec.
© Stephen Hirsch

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Water Reflections

When you combine water and land in the same frame, point of view will determine what’s reflected in the water and how it influences the overall sense of color and design. Our next Picture This! assignment is to make images where what’s reflected in the water echoes, mirrors, or abstracts the remainder of what’s in the frame, or sometimes what sits beyond the borders of your image. We’re looking for photos that show the power of abstraction that water provides, and that distorts or enhances the subjects around it.

This photo of a pier reflected in the bay’s water in coastal Maine was made with a Nikon D2Xs and a Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 lens with an exposure of f/6.3 at 1/25 sec.
© George Schaub

Please Read This
It is important that you read and follow these guidelines. We need to follow this procedure because of the large volume of images we receive. If you have any questions, please e-mail us at:

1) Images sent to us cannot be returned. You retain complete copyright over the images, but do grant us permission to print your image(s) in the magazine and on our website,

2) Because images are not returned please send a quality print or duplicate transparency. We will not accept or view images on CD, ZIP, or any other electronic media.

3) Images will be selected on the basis of content and technical quality. Please mark your outer envelope with the topic of the month (for example, “Wide View”).

4) Enclose a short caption with the image stating camera, lens, film and exposure, plus location. If you are submitting an image with a recognizable person we must have a model release or signed permission from that person to reproduce their image in the magazine and on the website.

5) Please submit no more than three photos for consideration (4x6 up to 81/2x11).

Send your image and information to:
Picture This! Shutterbug Magazine,
1415 Chaffee Dr., Suite #10, Titusville, FL 32780.
Deadline for submission: November 15, 2012.
Images will appear in our February 2013 issue.
Our next topic: Negative Space
Deadline: December 15, 2012
Publication Date: March, 2013

Please note: We receive hundreds of submissions for Picture This! each month and want to be sure we properly identify each image we publish. Please put your name and all camera, exposure information on the back of the print or attached to slides when submitting. Also, please include your e-mail address in case we need to contact you.

Want to see images selected for past Picture This! assignments? Go to and click on Picture This! in the “More Articles…” box on the homepage.

Please note: If you submit images with an enhancement through software beyond contrast, exposure, and simple saturation adjustments please indicate the software and “filter” used to attain that effect.—Editor

mogabest's picture

What awesome pictures. Great job.