Depth of Field Activity

In this activity you will practice controlling your depth of field by changing your F-stop settings, using a variety of lenses and playing with the distance between the subject and your background.

Before you start watch this short example:

Cinematic Look: Canon 650D by Fenchel & Janisch (1:50)

Notice how this example has a variety of shallow and deep depth of field shots:

*Notice that these shots are all in the dark woods on a rainy day which allows them to open their F-stop wide open. If you want to try this out in the sunshine you will need to use an ND filter, which is like putting sun glasses over your lens.

Fenchel & Janisch have posted a bunch of DSLR Tutorial on YouTube at: 

Camera Settings

Take a few minutes to change the settings on your camera for this activity.

Manual Exposure (this will allow you to adjust your F-stop)

Movie Record Size/Frame Rate: 1920 by 1080 24 fps (frames per second)

Shutter: 48 or 50 (you want to get as close to double the fps as possible)

White Balance and ISO: Auto (this will allow you to focus on setting just the F-stop but if you feel confident that you can quickly adjust these then you can set them manually)

In School Activity

Day One: Take 5 minutes to gear up.

Shoot 10 - 15 shots around school that demonstrate your control of depth of field. Each shot should be about 10 seconds long. The library would be a great place to shoot as long as you ask for permission.

Make sure to be back in class with enough time to download your shots to your computer, clear the memory card and put the battery on the charger.

Day Two: The next day cut the clips together along with some basic instrumental music to create a 60-90 video that demonstrates your mastery of depth of field.

Out of School Activity

This is basically the same activity but this time you will take the camera and tripod home for the weekend. Try shooting in the woods around your house or around town in the evening using the city lights.