Fall Assignment – (Technique: Deep Depth of Field)

Hello!  Hello!

First things first, we do not want you to use your high end DSLR.  In fact, we do not want for you to even use your trusty point and shoot.  For this assignment, you must use a cell phone camera for each shot!  With that in mind, let me break down the rest of the assignment for you.

The assignment is worth 150 points and is broken into four parts:

1.  The first section has 11 objects.  This section is worth half of the assignment having a total of 75 points.  The points for content vary.  For example, if you take a photo of “something orange” it will be worth one point.  If you take a picture of a “book” that will be worth 10 points.  (You will see what each subject is worth on the spreadsheet.)  Basically it boils down to whether or not you have capture that object in your photo.  The style points for an object do not vary and will always be worth three points.  You will be judged on how you compose the object in your shot.  We consider factors such as if the shot is well framed, in focus, and fits within the story of the shot.  (These are just some factors.  We may be swayed to give more points to a photo if there is something cute, like a kitten, doing something cute, like napping.)

2.  The next section is the action shot.  There is only one action shot per assignment.   The intent of the activity is for the participant(s) to be involved in the action in order to get credit.  Again, there are two ways to get points.  Either you capture the action and get the full 20 points, or you don’t and get zero points.  Then we judge the style in which the photo is taken (see above).  Because we feel that this shot is harder to take, we have allocated five points for the style.  The action section is worth a total of 25 points.

3.  The next section is the abstract shot.  There is only one abstract shot per assignment.  This is also worth 20 points.  This is the part where you get to shine and where we have seen some pretty great (and some pretty funny!) shots.  We’ve also had some misses, regrettably.  This isn’t a huge part of the assignment, so it is still possible to miss the mark and come out ahead.  Like the action shot, you can get up to five points for style.   The abstract section is worth a total of 25 points.

4.  The last section of the assignment is where we learn a new technique or way to compose a shot.    You can pick any object that you desire to be the subject.  We appreciate the ones that kind of fit in with the theme of the assignment, but it’s not a requirement.  The requirement changes for each assignment because we want to explore new and different ways to take photographs.  This time, we are asking you to take a photograph that has a deep depth of field.  The objects within the depth of field (DOF) are typically in sharp focus.  So the shallower (or smaller) the depth of field, just a small fraction of the photograph is in focus.  Conversely, more things are in focus the deeper (or greater) the depth of field.   The technique/composition section is also worth a total of 25 points.

Exhibit A

Shallow Depth of Field:

Deep Depth of Field:

Exhibit B

Shallow Depth of Field:

Deep Depth of Field:

The reason that we are asking for you to use a cell phone camera for this assignment is because it naturally has a deep depth of field.  I’m not wanting you to have to worry about fiddling with the aperture settings (this time!).

Check out this video which was taken with a cell phone to see what kind of tricks can be had with a deep depth of field:

Here are some helpful links to help further your understanding of this technique:



Okay, so now that  you understand what is happening, here is the link to your assignment:  2011 – September Assignment.  Remember that for this assignment, each and every photograph must be taken with a cell phone camera!

Reminder:  Qualifying photos must be taken between 6:00 pm EST on Thursday, September 29th, and 6:00 pm on Monday, October 3rd.  Remember to link your album here as a comment prior to 6:00 pm EST on October 3rd, or e-mail the link to searchandsnap [at] gmail [dot] com.  Please name each photo as the item description.  This will help us when it comes to grading if your the item isn’t the main subject in your photograph.

Please post your questions here or e-mail them to searchandsnap [at] gmail [dot] com.

Have fun and remember to be unique!

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About polwygle


6 responses to “Fall Assignment – (Technique: Deep Depth of Field)”

  1. vininva says :

    Here is the link to my set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/polwygle/sets/72157627793219514/. I’ll be adding more throughout the weekend.

  2. Sarah T says :


    Here’s my album. I discovered my cell phone has a pretty weak camera, but it was fun to design the shots.

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