How To?? Limited Depth of Field Macro Underwater Photography

Over on our Bali Academy of Underwater Photography website, we have a series of articles called “How To??” which are very short posts discuss “How To” shoot a certain type of photo or photography style or even post processing techniques. If you haven’t had a look at the site before there are several of these short posts on the site as well as a few full articles, check them out on the Tutorials page.

I have copied the latest “How To??” article here, entitled “How To?? Limited Depth of Field Macro Underwater Photography

Depth of FieldLimited Depth of Field composition is a very effective and stunning form of photography when it’s done well. Although it does look complicated, it’s actually a very easy technique to setup. Here are a few steps to follow to learn “How To” take macro underwater photos with great bokeh.


  1. Choose an fstop between 1.8 and 8, the more open the f-stop the less DOF there is
  2. Strobe strength has to be at a very low power or else utilize TTL
  3. Choose subject accordingly, a flat subject will not “show off” the bokeh properly, therefore subject selection is key
  4. Don’t forget the background, a colourful background will enhance the “out of focus” aspect of the background itself. Bright colours work well
  5. Use a fast shutter speed: the DOF is very narrow so any little movements from the camera will be multiplied in the photo, using a fast shutter speed helps
  6. Use manual focus or focus lock, keeping a very narrow area of a macro image is hard to do, using manual focus helps so that the lens does not “hunt” while focusing


That’s it, very simple yet effective hints for trying this fun form of underwater photography