Soft Spot

50mm shallow depth of field photograph of rain soaked daffodils
Soft Spot — 50mm | f/1.4 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/1600

With the first turn in the weather, the calendar mandates it’s time I get back to my photographic roots. After a toddling period of crash course trial and error in the early days of 2012, flower photography quickly established itself as my go-to comfort spot behind the camera. It’s where I first felt some semblance of control in the process of making satisfactory photographs. Everything else—most certainly landscapes included—felt far too unwieldily and daunting at the time.

But with a diverse array of flowers in abundant supply in just about every corner of my property, I had plenty of eager subjects waiting to help me learn and grow. Here I more often than not unwittingly stretched my creative muscles through soft focus and shallow depth of field with my petaled muse. I remember being quickly drawn to the way bokeh and soft focus when juxtaposed with areas of clarity can move the eye throughout a photograph, bringing layers and depth to an image. This exact relationship is what was entirely lost on me as a high schooler struggling with painting—for whatever reason I was too engrained with this hyper-realistic bias where everything had to be clearly defined and in focus. Never understanding that all that clarity, when deployed incorrectly creates competition and noise throughout a composition.

So while the sunsets and landscapes are sure to continue, a steady dose of flowery soft focus and shallow depth of field is on the way. For now we’ll start with this daffodil—the first of my flowers to bloom.





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