Shallow Depth of Field with Kit Lens

How do we get shallow depth of field? Big aperture size, long distance coverage, long focal length, tele lens. Any of this will help to provide shallow depth of field.

Shallow depth of field is something that a lot of photographers tend to do when taking portrait shots. With shallow depth of field, it is much easier to show the emphasizes on the subject, whether he/she is your lover, family, children or models. Also with the blurry background, it makes the photo looks nice.
The best way to get nice, shallow depth of field is by using lens with big aperture. Normally, an aperture setting of around F2.8 will provide quite a shallow depth of field. However, lens with big aperture are always costly. And it is not always affordable for everyone. For beginner, usually we have only the DSLR system together with the kit lens.

A normal kit lens provided with DSLR in the market right now is usually the 18-70mm F3.5-F5.6. And at the most zoom setting of 70mm, the maximum aperture size already falls at F5.6, which is already two stops away from F2.8. And generally this is not good when we want to create photo with shallow depth of field. So how do we shoot photos with shallow depth of field by using kit lens then?

  1. Try to use maximum zoom as possible
    Tele setting will provide better in term of shallow depth of field. With the kit lens, we just have to set it to the maximum tele setting which is 70mm. The more tele the lens goes, the more shallow the depth of field it will generates.

  2. Larger distance for the subject and background
    Make sure that the background is distance away from the subject to be photographed. With large and distance background, it will generate a shallow depth of field effect

  3. Bring subject closer to the camera
    The further the subject is away from the camera, the depth of field of the photo will increase. Hence in order to get a shallow depth of field, we need to get the subject as close to the camera as possible.
    With these three rules in mind, there would not be a problem to capture a shallow depth of field photo, even with kit lens and aperture setting of F5.6. Just make sure that we need to use the tele portion of the lens. Of course this will create a distance between the subject to be photographed and us and might be quite tiring and troublesome in a way.

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