This week we're focusing on one of my favorite techniques in shooting pet photography - shallow depth of field. This is what gives my photographs a crisp, focused subject with an unfocused background. Although this isn't everyone's style, it has definitely become much more common in the world of photography today.

To get a little more in detail, depth of field is the zone of sharpness within a photo that will be in focus.While your subject should be a part of this depth of field, you may have foreground and/or background that is outside of the depth of field. There are three key ways to control depth of field in your images: aperture, focal length, and distance from your subject. I will be focusing only on one of these methods as it is what I use most often in my photography.

Aperture controls the amount of light entering your lens. By opening your aperture, you allow more light to enter your lens, which reduces your depth of field. Vice versa, closing your aperture reduces the amount of light that can enter your lens, increasing your depth of field. Confusingly, a small f-stop number is a larger aperture, while a larger f-stop number is a smaller aperture. The easiest way to remember this is a smaller f-stop number equals a shallower depth of field while a larger f-stop number equals a deeper depth of field.

The images below are a great example of shallow depth of field. All of these images were taken at an f-stop of 2.8, meaning more light was allowed to enter the lens, resulting in a shallower depth of field. Notice how the subjects (the dogs) are in full focus, while the backgrounds have a blurred quality.

In case you were wondering, each of these gorgeous Belgian Malinois/Husky pups is available fro adoption through SNGSR. If you're interested in learning more about them, or any of the other dogs available through the Sierra Nevada German Shepherd Rescue, check out their website here.

Follow the rest of the Project 52 group blog circle to check out their shallow depth of field. Next up is Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography fetching portraits in Coppell and surrounding communities in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex. Keep following the links at the end of each blog post until you make it back here to see all of this week's photos!

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