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Skin Res Technol. 2013 Nov;19(4):394-7. doi: 10.1111/srt.12058. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Focusing and depth of field in photography: application in dermatology practice.

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Center for Dermatology Research, Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.



Conventional photography obtains a sharp image of objects within a given 'depth of field'; objects not within the depth of field are out of focus. In recent years, digital photography revolutionized the way pictures are taken, edited, and stored. However, digital photography does not result in a deeper depth of field or better focusing.


In this article, we briefly review the concept of depth of field and focus in photography as well as new technologies in this area.


A deep depth of field is used to have more objects in focus; a shallow depth of field can emphasize a subject by blurring the foreground and background objects. The depth of field can be manipulated by adjusting the aperture size of the camera, with smaller apertures increasing the depth of field at the cost of lower levels of light capture. Light-field cameras are a new generation of digital cameras that offer several new features, including the ability to change the focus on any object in the image after taking the photograph.


Understanding depth of field and camera technology helps dermatologists to capture their subjects in focus more efficiently.


aperture; camera; depth of field; digital focusing; light-field photography

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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