Depth of Field – A self critique

As my wife and I are planning our honeymoon, I’ve shifted my YouTube binge watching photography studies to focus on videography.

A video I came across (below) is a short analysis on 2 videos. The author looks into how often a director / cinematographer uses a wide vs narrow depth of field for their shots. In summary, there are a significant number of clips that have a very wide depth of field.

When the author of the video showed the breakdown of how often shots had a wide depth of field, I was surprised. The author demonstrates in the video that there are plenty of shots that have a wide depth of field, that still look good.

In comparison with my photography style; I love to use a very shallow depth of field. My F-stop is usually the lowest it can go. Hence why I wasn’t expecting cinematographers to use a high F-stop in their shots.

I’ve since made the realization that maybe I’m not utilizing my F-stop as creatively as I thought I was. I’m stuck In wanting to drop the F-stop as low as possible to get the shallowest depth of field. Of course, that is the style I prefer and there’s nothing wrong with that. Photography is an art, and there’s no way of correctly doing art. However, I’m limiting my creative channels by not utilizing the F-stop to its full potential.

Given that we’re planning on travelling, my plan for the trip is to try and take photos with a higher F-stop. Its not going to be indiscriminately high – I’m not going to set the F-stop to the maximum and leave it, but it won’t be shallow. A lot of my photos will probably be landscape photography anyway, so a wide depth of field will capture not only the subjects in the foreground (most likely us) but also the contents in the background as well.