One of the beautiful things cameras can do is help us to see things differently. Our eyes quickly adjust to our surroundings, popping in and out of focus depending on where we look, so in some ways everything around us seems to be in focus all of the time. It’s not very easy to focus on one thing and intentionally look at the other, blurry parts of what’s in front of us, but with an SLR and a large aperture we can create images and really look at them which we never could have done with our own, naked eyes.
I think that’s why using a shallow depth of field is so appealing, and also magical. It helps to tell a different story than if the entire image were in focus, even with an inanimate subject like this hiking trail. We’ll all view these two images differently … some will prefer the image on the left with the entire scene in focus, and some will prefer the one on the right with the flowers in focus and the trail soft and blurred.
Each photo tells its own story and speaks to each of us differently as well.
Camera Info: Canon 5DMkIII, Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8L IS lens
LEFT image = 1/10 sec at f/22, ISO 400
RIGHT image = 1/750 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400