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What Does OOF Mean In Photography?

OOF or Oof stands for Out Of Focus and it means that the area of the image is not within the depth of field for your given combination of aperture, focal length and distance from subject.  Sharp, fine details will be lost and your image will look ‘soft’ or blurry, at least in part.

If your subject is OOF then you’ve got a problem!  But OOF can also be used to describe the background or foreground of an image as well.  For example, someone might say “the image has a pleasingly OOF background”, meaning the area behind the subject is nice and blurred.  OOF areas then become a creative composition tool, allowing us to draw attention to our subject by leaving them in focus, while everything else is out of focus.

what does oof mean in photography
The subject (the car) in this image is sharp, but the background is deliberately out of focus (OOF) to let the car stand out better.