I took a walk in Prospect Park yesterday, hoping to find something interesting. I had my 50mm lens and it goes to 1.4 aperture. That’s a very wide open lens (smaller numbers mean more open) so the depth of field becomes very shallow. It’s great for blurring busy backgrounds. But then, when I get quite close to whatever I’m focusing on, if it isn’t on a single plane, part of it gets blurred too. And I can end up with less than 5% of the picture truly in focus. I knew what might happen and went with it.
With more depth of field, you can see the jumble of branches and leaves behind the subject. In real life, your eyes and brain just focus on what interests you and you forget the background. A picture has a way of bringing that background right there where you can’t ignore it anymore. I usually try to hit that sweet spot where the subject is completely in focus but the background recedes. It gets harder as the background gets closer to the subject like can happen in nature. I wanted to try something different here.
It gives a kind of painterly effect that can be lovely if that’s what you’re going for.
In all honesty, I didn’t know how these pictures would turn out but I’m quite happy with them. I kind of want to try to paint them, actually.