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americanview Nov 7, 2016 Technology, VIdeo Production

Although you might not be immediately familiar with the term, it’s highly likely you have seen this technique used before in videos, movies, and photography. Focus range, also known as depth of field (DoF), is simply the measure of how much of the subject is in focus.

 

Types of Focus Range

 

  • Deep focus range means everything in the frame is in focus

Photo showing Deep depth of field

  • Medium focus range means the subject is in focus and a some of the background is in focus

Photo showing Medium Depth of Field

  • Shallow focus range means only the subject is in focus and the rest of the image is blurred out.

Photo Showing Shallow Depth of Field

 

Why is it Used?

 

The purpose of using different focus ranges is to determine what appears sharper or blurrier in an image or video. It is also a way to isolate the subject so that the attention is directed towards only one area of the shot. Showing everything in focus is distracting to viewers and causes their eyes to wonder. For example, if it were a scene in a film where two characters are speaking in public, it wouldn’t be necessary to see in vivid detail people who are walking in the background. Overall, the focus range visually tells the viewer what they should focus on.

 

When to Use Focus Range

 

  • A deep focus range is used for landscape scenes when it is important to see everything in focus. For example, when you need to establish shots and photos that show specific areas like a trail or a city street.
  • Medium focus range is similar to how the human eye focuses on things. We see what we want to focus on, so the objects and things that we are not focusing on in the background are partially blurred.  By filming in medium focus, because the background is not completely blurred, the viewer can get a great sense of the surroundings.  Even though viewers cannot see the faces of people walking in the background, just the idea that they are there is enough.
  • A shallow focus range is used to make one subject or object stand out. Using a shallow focus range separates the focal point completely from the background. This technique is commonly used in wildlife and sports photography to isolate the animal or athlete from its surroundings. The purpose is to bring your attention to a small focal area.

 

How AVP Can Help

 

By varying your focus range depending on the context, you can take your photography skills to the next level.  Whether you’re in the business of taking photos of professional athletes or action shots of wildlife, filming a movie, or taking photos of the natural landscape, AVP can help you achieve your goals.  We have a team of professionals who can guide your business through all stages of the video production process.