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What is depth of field?

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Quick Answer

Depth of field is a phrase used in photography to describe the zone within a camera lens that appears sharp. The depth of field varies based upon the camera being used, aperture and focus.

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Depth of field can be described as shallow or deep. The term "shallow" is used when the items within a narrow range are the only sharp ones in the picture. A deep depth of field is when a large part of the image is in focus. Sometimes, a shallow depth of field is preferable to a deep one, as when the photographer wants to blur out background images to draw focus on something in the foreground.

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