I find your comment interesting. To me, using selective sharp focus or having everything in sharp focus are techniques--tools to be use by the artist. I very much like and appreciate much the work of JMC. I also like and appreciate much of the work of by members of the f64 group. Their aesthetics are quite different. But, I find each pleasing in there own way.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
I have a John Sexton print on my wall. It is all in sharp focus. I find my eye directed initially to the light colored stones in the middle of the river. But as I look closely at the image, my eye wanders and I discover additional, interesting elements. The way three trees in the background stand out, the reflection of the trees on the water and how the reflections plays with the rocks, the texture of the flowing water... This photograph works for me because once I am initially drawn into the image, I can walk around in it and make new discoveries. This image would be diminished if only the rocks emphasized by sharp focus. Likewise, I think most of JMC's images would be diminished if the were shot with a f64 aesthetic.
To me, focus is only one way to give the viewer "something specific to look at." Leading lines, light tones juxtaposed against dark, placement of the subject with in the frame, etc. are ways to direct the viewer's interest. I often find selective focus images to be one trick ponies--here's the subject, look at it, now move on. But, when used effectively, I can look at such an image for hours.
I guess tis is why art is so interesting, both viewing art and creating art.