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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 14. Isolation: Use a Wider Aperture

We’ve already touched on the ability of a longer lens to isolate subjects and give them greater visual mass, or pull on the eye, than they might have otherwise. A shallow depth of field can strengthen that, but it doesn’t have to be used in conjunction with a long lens. In fact, photographs made with a wider lens can often benefit because the wide lens makes background control difficult, simply by virtue of there being so much more background to wrestle into place. A softer focus on the background can diminish the pull on the eye, which in turn strengthens the impact of the elements in focus. Here’s what you need to know about depth of field.

Nikon D800, 300mm, 1/1250 @ f/7.1, ISO 400The f/7.1 setting ...

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