The second photo from this years fall desktops is a classic in the sense that photographs such as this with a shallow depth have quickly become a defacto approach to shooting in an abstract or seemingly delicate way. To some cynics out there it is seen as taking a shortcut to getting a photo with apparent depth or a sense of awe. If you have been following 50ft for any length of time then you are well awaret that I have an affinity toward a shallow depth of field. I use it as a means to create negative space while composing an image where there often is none. I don’t think I have ever used shallow depth of field as a gimmick or because I was feeling lazy. For years now I have explored it as a means to simplify an otherwise complex world.
That said, I would like to share my point of view while shooting this way. If you stand and stare at an empty forest in the fall it is but a noisy, colorful blur, or to me, a blank canvas. As you wander forward through the leaves and branches, particles of light start to solidify and ideas bloom in your mind. Then as you explore different angles and viewpoints patterns begin to emerge and interesting shapes will form. You start to connect the dots into a beautiful self realized constellation of sorts and the forest comes alive. Using a wide aperture I can mimic this play of shape, light, and color with the lens and exploit the beauty that hides among the noise.
For years I have been discovering these sorts of hidden forms and using a wide aperture as means to pull forward details. Early on I came to realize that there is a large difference between abusing shallow depth simply to get all those pretty shapes and using it to a true advantage. The rules of composition still apply even when dealing with such abstract forms and a healthy amount of experience and exploration still has to go into the process to become refined. At any rate, pardon my musing on the subject, I hope you enjoy the fresh desktop!