I agree that it is ugly on portraits, but there have been a few times that I shot other types of things with little depth of field to achieve a look that I wanted, like here:
THe photo has sold well, and was even used for the cover of a Canadian novel published a few years ago:
The photo was shot with an Olympus 50mm f1.4 lens on Tmax 400. I think I shot it at f2 or f2.8, can't remember for sure.
Chris, fantastic photo, I like it.
The shallow depth of field adds a lot to the image.
I like to use it to isolate the subject when there are distractions, like in the last 2 images.
the important thing isnt that "they" are using it it is that they are having a good time.
ps. great photo chris, you've posted it before, and i liked it then too :)
It has always been available to the photographer to get the look they want. Just like anything else, example, filters, exposure, etc. I don't know what all the fuss is about. I use it whenever I want to isolate something from everything else. By choosing the correct setting, I can control the depth of field. Maybe some over use it, that is their choice. Maybe their skill level caused them to use to little or to much. The viewer can either like it or not, that is their choice.
THIS! I couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by summicron1
I think that people see selective focus as more "arty" also because it's pretty specific to photography. Our eyes do focus selectively, but we hardly ever notice because of the way our vision is processed in the brain, so seeing pictures with a prominent out of focus area can be pleasing and "different" from the norm.
I personally don't have a problem with having one eye in focus and not the other, as long as the focus is on the eye closest to the camera, like the two examples below.
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
Attachment 77493 Attachment 77494
Am I the only one?
I agree, I used to be much more in love with shallow depth of field when I used to shoot 35mm. Now that I often battle with it using medium and large format cameras, I'm less of a fan
Originally Posted by Nuff
I also see a lot of newbies on another site asking why they aren't getting sharp photos of people when they're using f2. There seems to be a lot of lack of understanding of how to use apertures. There are also a large number of people who seem to think you start seeing the effects of diffraction at f8 or so and won't stop down beyond that. It's one thing to use DOF creatively and on purpose, but I've seen a number of shots that just look like accidents.
It is too hard and time consuming to come up with a good photograph. So we get involved with manipulating ordinary scenes to make them slightly more interesting to the eye. They are kind of like cotton candy. Appealing at first, but not very substantial over the long run.
Amazing DOF is a trait of smaller digital sensors. Maybe narrow DOF is becoming a unique (and refreshing) look of old fashioned film photography for people grown accustomed to that digital look. Everything in focus does get boring after a while. I remember doing macros of insects and the like back around 2000 when a friend bought his first digital camera, an Olympus E-10. His photos had such depth of field I had to ask him how he did it. That's when I learned about the sensor size and such.
Sometimes I wonder if people show portraits of their lenses and process, rather than the person.
Depth of field is a control allowing photographers to show what they want to show in a frame. To shoot everything at f/wideopen I think is to severely limit oneself to a very small portion of the possibilities available.
But to each their own. I don't have to understand it for other people to enjoy it.
When I look at photographs I view them and wonder whether it's an interesting photograph or not. Then I view to look if I think the image is well crafted to support the photograph and its content or not. Depth of field? It's just one choice in a multitude of things to make up a photograph.
I should add that I think the above relates to any process related variable, like those who think choice of film is important, or who tone their images a certain way, or lith printing, or using some other exotic process. If the photograph at any point becomes about the process, then it's walking on thin ice. If the photograph isn't interesting to begin with, no process variable is going to help make it better. There are things about a photograph that are infinitely more important.