Depth of Field

Let's discuss depth of field,
for a snapshot is a patina on flat paper
but the world is three dimensional.

See this photo of her I took years ago.
Her face is so sharp,
but the background could be ocean, desert, mountain,
or any other blur.
Her face smiles within a shallow depth of field.
The sharpness of her features exists
as a two-dimensional plane,
and to get this effect
I had to lower the f stop to open the aperture as wide
as the dilated pupils of face to face lovers.
And I brought my lens close to her,
so close her face filled my viewfinder.

Now see this recent photo of her.
My lens kept its distance,
along with its focus
and I set my f stop higher
so the aperture constricted
narrower than pupils hurt by glare.
Her eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, and chin
are all fuzzy
Does she smile or grimace?
2003 Richard Fein

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