Sunday, April 5, 2015


We are all familiar with DOF, Depth of Field. But this morning at breakfast I got to thinking about another DOF that in my humble opinion is even more important.

Depth of Field like all the other technical aspects of photography is simply a tool we use to write the visual language of photography. I use DOF to put emphasis on what I feel is the most important part of the image by softening or completely blurring out what I do not consider important. It is one of the tools that I use it to hide what I do not want the viewer to focus on in the image. I sometimes do that in camera. I sometimes do that in processing. To completely explain how I use DOF would require a discussion of the hierarchy of what does create emphasis in a photograph. However it is sufficient to say in this case that elements that are rendered sharp have a greater emphasis than elements that are rendered soft. That, in my opinion, is the most important use of Depth of Field.

However, as I mentioned, there is another DOF that applies to photography that in my opinion may be much more important than Depth of Field. It has to be applied to the decisions that have to be made before the shutter is released. That is Depth of Feel.

I am reclusive. I am not entirely sure that I need people. I am very inwardly turned. I don’t believe I have ever made any secret of that. Therefore, for many years I was concerned that I was not able to feel to a depth that would allow me to call myself a photographer or to be successful as a photographer. I am still not fully convinced that I have the depth of feeling that I need to succeed except in some very limited genre of photography. Those areas where I feel I can be or even have been successful have taken years to develop.

I am not sure exactly when it was that I came to the conclusion that being a photographer, as opposed to being a picture taker, was considerably more than pointing a camera at an object and clicking the shutter. If that is all there were I am not sure that I would want to be a photographer. I have no idea whether or not that is important to anyone else.

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