Practice shooting with different apertures and monitor the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field affects your photo.
You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child, your dog, or your husband - subjects stand out against a blurry background.
Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus. This will help make those landscapes fascinating and lovely.
Pool at Hearst Castle
Using Deep Depth of Field
© Jim Miotke
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