Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Shift Of Focus

I'd Like To Give You The Whole Picture


Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I guess these two photographs are very significant because they say so much about the way I look at life. We usually have just one focal point, don't we? We look at people, at objects, at scenes, at situations - and we make snap judgements based on first observations. Do we take in every salient feature? Do we consider every aspect? Not always, I guess. I shot these two frames a few weeks ago - but they are a clear indication of my message.

The first shot (above) is focused solely on the gleaming chrome of a vehicle's exhaust stack. It is the only thing in sharp focus and everything else is a blur. But I reversed the focus for the second shot (below). The chrome is in soft focus and the background can be seen in sharp detail. Maybe it's just the way I am. I like to take a step back and consider as many aspects as possible before I make a value judgement. Let me know what you think ...


18 comments:

WalksFarWoman said...

My son has the same 'eye' in photography as you David, he is forever taking shots from unfamiliar angles. Of course we have great banter about the difference in our style and perspectives but after viewing this post I understand it better on a psychological level. Maybe it's because you're both professionally trained that gives you that edge of discovery.

Pijush said...

The first one is perfect from the photography point of view, sharp focus on the correct object, low DOF and you can feel the motion in this picture.
But I like the second one as it has varieties of objects as I don’t want to miss the perspective of a picture.

Mike said...

Great photos and thought provoking post.

Jeni said...

Love your photos, David. But even more than the pictures, I like your methods of focusing on life too - get more than one picture, in essence, to get the true or full picture.

Merisi said...

While the second picture, with the chrome in soft focus, illustrates the point you're trying to make, I much prefer the first choice of focus. In the second one, the out of focos exhaust is an interesting counterpoint to the person standing to the left and together they frame the picture nicely. Still, at a glance, it looks more like an object you had to deal with and you did the best you could, but not one you'd have chosen (which clearly was not the case with the first picture, there you went straight for the chrome).
Then again, putting it with words into the right context ("Urban Jungle" come to mind), it could turn out to illustrate your point perfectly. I am sure you would. ;-)

Hammer said...

I see what you mean. My camera does that on accident sometimes and I've noticed some unexpeced benefits.

Corey~living and loving said...

I, too, have never thought of changing my depth of field in LIFE. Great post! :)

karoline said...

wonderful post david..ive often thought about perspectives..and have some neat ideas in my head for portraitures of my children...thankyou for posting these photos...well done..

k:)))

Max-e said...

That's a briliant object lesson in why several people will give different accounts, after witnessing the same event. I guess we all see life from a different perspective.

david mcmahon said...

Hi WFW,

Many thanks for that comment. But ``professionally trained''? Er, nope!

I'm completely self-taught. And I only really got ino photography three years ago - after my wife told me I'd be really good at it!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Pijush,

Always interested to see what you have to say. And there are so many points of view ...

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Thaks Mike,

Glad you liked it.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Merisi,

Well put, and Urban Jungle is along the lines I was thinking, too.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Hammer,

Yes, it's very interesting to let the camera ``think'' for us sometimes!

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Corey,

So glad the notion worked for you.

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Karoline,

Thank you for that feedback. I look forward to your shots ...

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Jeni,

Yup, there's so much to life that we probably miss ....

Keep smiling

David

david mcmahon said...

Hi Max-e,

That, my friend, is IT. That's why we get so many different accounts of the same incident from different people.

Keep smiling

David