The iPhone camera and depth of field

The other day I discovered by accident that you can get a depth of field effect with the native camera on the iPhone 3Gs. Yes, I still use that old thing because I’m old school…I’m also stuck in a contract, for now.

Anyway, to get the shallow depth of field, lock your focus by touching the focal point of your shot on your screen. Hold your finger there for a few seconds and the box will flash a couple of times. Your focus is now locked.

In my photo below, I was actually trying to focus on the CN Tower in the background but accidentally locked focus on the fence which resulted in the slightly blurred background. I thought I messed up my shot, but looking at it more closely when I got home, I realized it actually looks kind of cool.

The sun was setting and the light was casting a beautiful pink and purplish hue on the Toronto skyline in the east. I  cropped the photo and boosted the colour a bit in Camera+, and added the Sierra filter in Instagram. I rarely use the Instagram filters because I prefer to edit my photos in other apps and use Instagram only for sharing my finished photo. When I do use the IG filters, Sierra is the one I tend to use the most.

Anyway, that’s something new I learned so I thought I would share. It looks like today is going to be a nice day. Maybe I will get outdoors for a photo walk.






6 thoughts on “The iPhone camera and depth of field

  1. Courtney

    That is a really awesome shot! And thanks for sharing about the depth of field! It has always bothered me that I couldn’t take DOF pictures on my iPhone… Now I can! Yay!

    Thanks again!

    1. callmeshebear Post author

      Thanks, I thought so too. It seems that you have to be very close to your focal point to get the background blur. I haven’t tried it again since but will experiment some more with it and report any useful info here.


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