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on Jan 11, 2018 in Landscape Photography

Pixel Depth of Focus

Shores Arce
captured by D850 / 24-70VR

Depth of focus, it’s how Depth of Field was termed back in the day when I started photography. Depth of focus is how I was taught to think about how the change of aperture changes my storytelling. My incredible teacher in high school would talk about the focus in a photograph, the reality and the perceived amount that was in focus. Those basic lessons which he taught us I still use today because focus and point of focus are so bloody important in visual storytelling. The mind’s eye goes to light and bright first, focus second. Being winter I’m spending office time printing up 24×30 images with the Epson P7000 that I took during the fall, many of those taken with the D850 and I’m seeing (as in visually noticing) that with my narrow DoF I’m seeing more in focus. Huh?!

The Palouse
captured by D850 / 70-200f4

Depth of Focus (or Depth of Field) is an actual, physical element in our photograph affected by the focal length, f/stop, subject and background distance. That is the reality of it, how most go about selecting their working aperture. Then there is the perceived DoF and it’s called perceived because the mind’s eye can be fooled, tricked into seeing more in focus that is really there. The one method I use the most is underexposure which adds black that tricks the eye. But in the printing of my images, I visually see more “perceived” focus because of the amazing image quality delivered by the D850! Because of its gorgeous pixels, there is more information in the photograph and that increased information makes the perceived DoF greater. Now, will you see this in a smaller print or in an image on the web? You might not! Is this a reason why you should buy the D850? Now that’s a darn good question. If in the sales brochure it was stated the D850 increases the perceived DoF, I would buy it just because of that statement! I know I really enjoy the D850 over any other megapixel camera I’ve shot with for many reasons but now I have one more I’ve identified and will employ as I manipulate your viewing of my visual stories. I will definitely now explore perhaps a third realm in the focus of my photographs, pixel depth of focus.