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Out of Focus - An annoying trend

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  • Out of Focus - An annoying trend

    I visit a lot of photographic clubs / societies, and get to see thousands of images. There are always trends that come and go, but when people invest lots of money in something, it is often difficult not to use it to its full extent. Given an f/1.4 lens the natural tendency is to use it wide open and develop the techniques of producing beautiful out of focus backgrounds and bokeh.

    While the effect can render the subject as distinct from the surroundings, there are many pictures in which the subject is so separated from the rest of the image as to present it as a floating object...

    We have always expected to see this with close focus and macro photography, but the trend is to use it more and more on portraiture, showing the person as isolated from their environment. The technique is far from new and has been explored in the film and advertising world for many years. "Popping" the subject for product emphasis is a common technique.

    However I am seeing the trend being used even in landscape images. Where we would normally travel with our eyes through an extensive landscape, taking in parts of the picture as we go, diffused foregrounds and backgrounds leave us constrained in a band of clarity, from which there is no escape...

    Hopefully like all "fads" this will pass, as thankfully HDR/Tonemapping has to some degree.

  • #2
    Re: Out of Focus - An annoying trend

    Originally posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
    ......this will pass, as thankfully HDR/Tonemapping has to some degree.
    A wholehearted AMEN to that.



    • #3
      Re: Out of Focus - An annoying trend

      Our camera club guest lecturer last week made some fun of how judges used to complain that his shots weren't in sharp focus front to back and now complain if they are.
      The wheel will turn again.


      • #4
        Re: Out of Focus - An annoying trend

        I don't find it as annoying as the shots where the camera's rotated 27.25 degrees to give it an artistic sloping horizon.
        Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it. Terry Pratchett.


        • #5
          Re: Out of Focus - An annoying trend

          [QUOTE=Graham said: Hopefully like all "fads" this will pass, as thankfully HDR/Tonemapping has to some degree.[/QUOTE]

          Graham I couldn't agree more!

          A little bit of background puts a portrait in CONTEXT!

          With those ISO noise and lens availability war all but over (for normal people), us micro four thirds users are generally coming to the conclusion that the "my DOF is shallower than yours" is about the last bastion of Full Marketing Frame crowd.

          Large cameras are good of course, (specially with those Zeiss OTIS lenses)! However, they are heavy, bulky and intrusive enough to leave at home - much more than one of the many good quality smaller cameras available today.

          The OMD's are not dissimilar in size to 35mm SLRs - remember those?

          In winter an em-5 and a couple of small lenses fit in a coat pocket!

          The OMDs I have, out-resolve my REAL full-frame camera (Mamiya RB67) easily. They give just as pleasing backgrounds with a fast lens.

          People become obsessed with gear, subservient to the marketeers, slavishly thinking a "better machine" can replace their imagination.
          Now bottled imagination is something I would pay a price to have more of.


          . . or if that does not work, a smaller version lives here

          Shot with a smaller camera and I'm able to easily lug it around.
          The lighting gear is much harder to transport now and I take a body and a couple of bodies most places these days. There are a few galleries there ..
          Last edited by photohounds; 01-06-15, 09:50 AM.