Depth of Field with Nora

This adorable white boxer/pit bull terrier mix named Nora is helping me demonstrate Depth of Field.  Nora is about 3 years old and looking for a family that will spoil her with belly rubs and back scratches as well as long walks and playing ball.

rescue dog, Nora, shallow depth of field
Serious Nora

I took Nora for a walk this past weekend with my camera in hand.  It was a cool day and she wore her nifty little pink sweater.  Every once in a while she would take a little break from walking and flop down with the hopes of a little belly rub, which she loves. When we arrived at the pond, I took this image of Nora.  I used an  f-stop of 1.4 in order to demonstrate a shallow depth of field.  Depth of field refers to the area of the image that appears in focus.  For a shallow depth of field, the photographers intention is have a small area of focus in the image and have the rest of the image blurry.  This is generally used to bring greater attention to the focused area.  As the above image shows, Nora is in focus but the pond and trees beyond are blurry.  This gives Nora greater attention….and she loves attention!

Kong time, rescue animal
Nora with her kong

Several factors affect depth of field.  The first is the lens.  For the pond image, I used a special lens which is able to achieve an f-stop of 1.4.  This meant that I was able to have a large opening for my lens, which lets light pour in.  When the light pours in, most of it hits the area that I focused on.  The rest splatters all over, making the rest of the image blurry.  It is as if you dumped a jar of tomato sauce in a pan.  The majority of sauce would hit the area you aimed for, but the rest would be scattered all over, hitting the sides of the pan and maybe even outside the pan.   For a deeper depth of field ( the image is in focus from the front all the way to the back of the image) it would be as if you were using a funnel to pour the tomato sauce all over the pan, without  splashing all over.  To achieve a deeper depth of field, you would want your camera to be set on a high f-stop 16, 22,  etc ( which gives you a smaller opening for the lens. 

Another factor that affect depth of field is the distance from the model to the camera. The closer you are to a subject, the narrower the depth of field( meaning that the subject may only have certain parts of her body in focus.  The focal length of your lens is the last factor.  This refers to the ability of your lens to magnify the image of your distant subject.


The other images  of Nora are still taken with a shallow depth of field, but not as narrow as the one above.  You will notice that the fence behind Nora is slightly blurry, but still identifiable as a fence.  I used my everyday lens 18-135 (F-stops 4.5 and 5.6) for these images. 


high key, rescue dog
rescue dog, Nora,
inquisitive Nora


Nora is a little hard of hearing, but can hear high pitched tones.  Stuffed toys are a great game for Nora.  She will work on them until they are all ripped up!  She is very affectionate and may rub your legs looking for a back-scratch or belly-rub.  She is housetrained.  She is very gentle when taking treats and will melt your heart when you meet her.  She would do best in a house without cats.

PLEASE Come visit Nora at Second Chance Canine Shelter.  We are open Saturdays and Sundays 10-2.

If you would like to meet Nora, contact:

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078
Website for Second Chance

Here are some other pictures of dogs at Second Chance also looking for Homes.

******Now check out the post by Rochelle from Dark Sapphire Pet Photography, Nelson, New Zealand. *******


Nancy Kieffer is a photographer serving  the Central New York and Adirondack region and beyond.  Travel assignments welcomed.   If you would like to book a lifestyle session for your pet,

Custom mini sessions now available for your Furry Valentine!

Please email me at or call 315-469-8807