I well remember my excitement in first achieving–albeit accidentally–a depth-of-field effect that made the subject pop. I don’t remember the first time I used the zoom function on my then-new DSLR camera to get a close-up of a flower I couldn’t get, well, close to, and generated an out-of-focus background (Surprise!), but this shot would be one of the early instances of blurry serendipity.
Woohoo! Cool depth of field, even though I didn’t, ahem, know exactly what I was doing.
Since then, I still haven’t put the time in to reliably get the effect I want, but when it works, it works. It’s usually so much better than filling the frame with a jumble of small flowers on a bush in full bloom, for example.
I mean, I don’t hate it, but this is so much nicer, no?
But there’s always something more to learn, and I now try to pay more attention to composition when the background is going to be somewhere between flat-out blurred and softly out-of-focus (you know, whatever the camera decides to do). Sometimes, for example, I remember to look for backgrounds that pick up the main colour of the foreground.
Sometimes I even see an opportunity to pick up a secondary foreground colour in the background.
Woohoo, indeed. When it works, it works.
Now if I can just figure out how to get the degree of blur I want, you know, on purpose.