When is Depth of Field Too Shallow?

Gabriella Ramos – Out of Focus… or is she?

People, Pets, Objects, Nothing.

We tend to take photos of everything around us out of compulsion these days, but it is always the same. Without the photographers eye, you end up getting weirdly lit/composed/colored/framed shots. Or worse, AI portrait mode that a tries to mimic depth of field and bokeh. Bokeh, the love of life that true blur produces in the background created by the lens.

Let’s take a look at at the difference.

Phone photo of the pugs – No Bokeh, No Happy
Camera Photo – Lots of Bokeh, Lots of Happy

Now, you can see the natural depth of field and gradual blurring and slight bokeh of the background of the lights. Let’s punch up the bokeh to the highest level possible.

At 85mm f1.8 – Bokeh is optimal… almost surreal and the Depth of Field is really shallow.

People want this amazing Bokeh, but they go through great feats to get it. When it comes down to your lens.

Because what happens is you let AI take over and you get “faux bokeh”. What it ends up being is an odd blur mask.

Penny taken with my phone in “portrait” mode.

Some people see a photo like that and say, “That’s pretty impressive”. But the more you look at it, the more unnatural it feels.

What is the point of this? I understand as AI gets smarter there will be better looking photos, but nothing will compare to the real thing.

So, no, with a camera, there is no Depth of Field that is too shallow. However, leave going that shallow for people that have the equipment to do so. You can still take amazing photos with your phone, just be sure you don’t let AI take over and compose them and crop them yourselves.

This IS a phone photo! No fake AI blurring, just using the light and lens given as best as I could.
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