Natural Depth of Field

The phrase “natural depth of field” has been stuck in my mind lately. Primarily it’s a term that is used by photographers to define what’s in or out of focus. I feel it fits in well when applied to music, writing and painting. (I will write more about that later) Understanding “natural depth of field” is rooting yourself in a classical approach to your work. It is placing a perceptive of focus, motion, stillness and life into your work. It’s the fundamentals.

After Googling the term “natural depth of field”, what I found was a disappointing state of current fine art. Merely tips for Photoshop, Paint Shop, computer plug-ins and filters that were on the first page of Google. There was nothing in Google about in-camera work, light, selective focus, composition or the relationship to the rule of thirds. No matter what is done after-capture it is not “natural depth of field”. Reproduced, re-worked or re-created is not natural and it is not a fine art skill.

I am all for keeping one foot rooted in the classical approach and one foot rooted in the future. Teaching this approach to “natural depth of field” would be akin to teaching spell checker before learning how to spell.