Am I in a Photographic Rut?

Sometimes it’s instructive to periodically look at your photography and ask the question “Am I in a Photographic Rut?”

Have I been shooting the same subject over and over again? Sometimes from a different perspective but pretty much the same subject matter.

Maybe it’s time for a change. You might objectively look at your images and evaluate where you are in your photography.  Some of those questions might include:

  • “What types of images have I been shooting?”
  • “Is there any variety in my images?”
  • “Should I expand my subject matter?”
  • “Am I growing and improving?”
  • “What do I need to do to take my photography to the next level?”
  • “Is there a different perspective I should look at that I am missing?”
  • “Could I shoot some other subjects that would help me improve my primary photographic focus?”
  • “Would evaluating other photographer’s images of the same or similar subjects give me some ideas and inspiration?”  (Note: Don’t just copy other photographer’s work. Be creative. Take a different approach.)

How does the Distance from the Camera to the Subject affect the Depth of Field?

How does the distance from the camera to the subject affect the Depth of Field?


We performed a study to determine how the distance from the camera to the subject affects the Depth of Field (DOF). As in all of our studies or experiments all of the parameters except for one are constant throughout the experiment.  The only parameter that will change in this study will be the distance from the camera to the subject. These are the parameters and a description of the study:

How do Depth of Field and Circle of Confusion relate to each other?

Technical Level: Intermediate-Advanced  

How do Depth of Field and Circle of Confusion relate to each other?

This is an advanced subject. You should have completed lessons DP-111C and DP-112C before trying to apply the information contained in this blog post.

The size of the camera sensor, the focal length of the lens, aperture size or f stop and the distance from the camera to the focus point all have an impact on the available Depth of Field (DOF).  All of these issues work together to either create a broad flat DOF curve or a steep DOF curve.

DOF and Hyperfocal Distance

Technical Level: Intermediate-Advanced

DOF and Hyperfocal Distance


The Hyperfocal Distance (HD) is an optically calculated constant based on the combination of lens focal length and f stop.  It is used to determine what the best focal distance would be to gain maximum DOF.  If your camera focuses at the HD, any object beyond the HD will be in acceptably sharp focus. With the camera focus set at HD, most items in front of the HD will be in acceptably sharp focus. You should run a DOF calculation to see how far the Near Focus Limit extends in front of the focal distance.   You can still focus where every you want to focus at any focal distance from the camera. If you focus at a distance less than the HD, everything behind the HD will not be in acceptably sharp focus.

Depth of Field (DOF) Studies

Technical Level: Intermediate-Advanced

 Depth of Field

When someone makes the transition from a Point and Shoot camera with a small sensor to a DSLR with a larger sensor they are entering unfamiliar territory.  Point and Shoot cameras by there very nature have an abundance of Depth of Field (DOF) and most subjects in the frame are in focus. But now they may be finding that some portions of their image are out of focus and they don’t know why.  For some, this is where the discussion of Depth of Field starts.

DOF is a subject that many photographers do not fully understand. They might remember a few principles but lack a working knowledge of the subject.  As a result, some of their images do not reflect the vision they had when they captured the image.