Focus can be subjective…

Years ago, and this was in the days of film, my photography professor, looked at one of my flower photographs and tactfully “sniffed” a few barely audible words – “depth of field”. That is all he said and I knew right then that my photographic vision and style would be to have sharp focus in the image.

One reason I prefer Macro Photography is the isolation of a subject or detail. Many photographers prefer selective or soft focus and deliberately make adjustments to achieve this effect. This is the subjective part of focus – the point which the viewer is drawn to because it is most clear. Time and again, I just like it all clear & close…this is subjective.

I just prefer to capture reality and show a detail or two which is most expressive. This preference informs my style.

Below are two photos of the same subject,  which have a subtle but different focus. Which do you prefer?


I prefer the one on the right…it’s sharper. Because the lens opening is smaller, I needed to add light to get the exposure.

In this case, one might need to zoom in to notice the difference. Interestingly, the digital camera’s sensor interprets/evaluates contrast with a combination of vertical and cross-type focus points. This is just the beginning of understanding and controlling focus.

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